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Woman files civil suit against National Guardsman convicted of putting camera in women’s locker room at Barnes Air National Guard Base

Barnes Air National Guard Base - Westfield Ma (LEONARDO DASILVA/WikiCommons)

A woman has filed a civil suit against a former member of the 104th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, saying she has suffered emotional distress and “a diminished capacity to enjoy life” in the years since he used a hidden camera at Barnes Air National Guard Base to record explicit images of her.

Jason Venne, 37, pleaded guilty in February to six counts of photographing an unsuspecting person in the nude and seven counts of unlawful wiretap. He admitted putting a camera in the women’s locker room at the Westfield base, recording images and video between 2011 and 2013 when he worked there as a mechanic.

In the suit filed Aug. 15 in Hampden Superior Court, the woman says she also worked at the base, and that the hidden camera “captured explicit photographs and video” of her in 2012 and 2013.

The suit, which includes counts for negligent infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy, says the woman “has suffered serious mental and emotional injury, a diminished capacity to enjoy life, and was otherwise damaged.”

The cover sheet for the suit says recovery in excess of $25,000 is “reasonably anticipated” for emotional distress, anxiety and other damages. Amounts sought under categories such as counseling and doctor’s expenses are listed as “to be determined.”

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Jason Venne, former member of 104th Fighter Wing, admits taking secret, explicit photos of women at Westfield base

Jason Venne, 37, of Chicopee, admitted setting up a camera in the women’s locker room in the Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield during 2011 to 2013.

Venne is serving a sentence of two to three years in state prison plus three years probation.

At Venne’s sentencing before Hampden Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ford, Assistant District Attorney Eileen Sears read victim impact statements from four women, two of whom were deployed at the time. All said Venne’s actions affected their day-to-day life. They said they thought Venne was a friend.

Some of the women said they fear using bathrooms outside their homes, wondering if there are hidden cameras.

Words the women used included “humiliated,” “angry” and “shamed.” One said she was afraid she was being viewed as a victim of Venne first and as a skilled worker at the base second.

“I’m happy that he was caught,” said one of the women. She said she was sorry she could not be in the courtroom to look Venne in the eye “so he can see how much he hurt me.”

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Another woman said she always thought being in the military created a special bond, but Venne violated that.

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