A Rockville man charged with sexual abuse for allegedly recording adults and children in a public bathroom allegedly also filmed his roommate’s girlfriend and took illicit photos of women in public, Montgomery County prosecutors said in court Thursday.
Cristian Gill, a 21-year-old former gymnastics and cheerleading instructor, was arrested Wednesday on 58 charges stemming from photos and videos produced by a camera he allegedly placed in Shockwave Allstars, a gymnastics and cheerleading studio in Rockville. On Thursday, Judge Sherri Koch ordered Gill to be held without bail during a hearing in Montgomery County District Court in Rockville, basing her decision on allegations that Gill’s secret recording extended beyond that public bathroom.
“He has demonstrated that he has not confined his actions to one specific location,” she said. She suggested releasing him with supervision would not be “enough of a protection for the community.”
Assistant State’s Attorney Lauren Turner called Gill a “great threat” who abused a position of trust.
Gill had taught one-on-one sessions and group classes at Shockwave Allstars for about two years before another employee found his camera in a unisex bathroom at the studio in February. Police then searched his house and found 49 photographs taken in the bathroom, including images of adults and minors. He told police that he placed the camera in a bathroom about 20 times during a two-month period ending in February.
During Gill’s bail review, Turner argued that the recording was part of a larger pattern of behavior. She said police had found a camera in his former Silver Spring apartment that he had used to capture images of his roommate’s girlfriend. Gill had also told police he had taken “up skirt” photos of women in public, Turner said.
“There’s no real way to prevent the defendant from doing it again if he’s released,” she said.
Harlan Dalcell, a public defender representing Gill, said he is now working as a UPS package handler in a distribution center and was living with his brother and cousin in Rockville.
“This incident, out of a string of bad choices, will have to be resolved, but in the meantime there’s no reason to believe he’s a threat to the community,” he said.
Police believe there had been more videos and images recorded by the bathroom camera that were later deleted. The 49 photos detectives found were cached files from videos that were no longer on Gill’s devices.
Detectives also believe Gill took the camera home for three days after it was discovered and before turning it in to the owner of Shockwave Allstars, who had been away and met with Gill when he returned. On Feb. 9, an employee had found a small device that appeared to be a USB in the bathroom.
The LG tablet that contained the photos had been hidden behind a frame on the wall in Gill’s house when police found it, Turner said.
On Gill’s iPhone, police found search terms including “what happens if you record a public bathroom with a spy cam” and “peeping tom cases that got dismissed” in his browser history, according to court documents.
Police and prosecutors said there is currently no evidence to suggest Gill shared the images or conducted any other kind of abuse.
The three sexual abuse charges each carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, while every count of prurient surveillance has a maximum sentence of one year and the “Peeping Tom” charges are punishable by up to 30 days in jail for each count.
Gill is scheduled for a May 18 preliminary hearing in District Court.