Pilot-in-training secretly filmed a woman and two teens at home


A man secretly filmed a woman, her teenage son and his girlfriend in their most private moments and watched the videos – some of them lasting hours – for his own gratification.

Aaron de Hoog, 38, was a father himself, an adult who knew what was right and what was wrong, the woman told the Waitākere District Court, where he was sentenced today.

His actions were not one-offs or opportunistic.

“For a year, he did not stop, he continued recording and watching,” she said.

He knew all three victims, whose identities are protected.

A court summary shows de Hoog made a total of 18 secret recordings in the bathroom of the woman’s home and in the bedroom of her son and his girlfriend in 2018.

They were filmed naked while showering, getting dressed and being intimate.

“I was only 17 at the time,” the girlfriend said, reading her victim impact statement in court.

She saw him as a trusted adult figure she could rely on, only to find he was using their images for his own sexual pleasure.

“We’ll have to live with this for the rest of our lives,” she said. “It will shape who I am.”

Her boyfriend is angry and ashamed and doesn’t go out or have his friends over, his mother told the court.

“He can’t talk to anyone about it. He doesn’t trust anyone,” she said.

The mother feels she failed to protect her child, and struggles to work and make decisions.

The offending came to light after she found the files on de Hoog’s computer and reported him to the police.

Defence lawyer Daniel Peric said the man pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, admitted he watched the videos for sexual gratification and surrendered the hard drives to police.

However, in court the victims countered the last point, claiming de Hoog did not willingly offer up the evidence and alleging it was a difficult process to get the hard drives off him.

Judge Grant Fraser said the offending was a clear abuse of trust that has had an enormous impact on the victims.

There were many videos, all taken in the victim’s home, where they were entitled to feel safe and secure, he said.

The court heard de Hoog had glowing work references and was training to become a pilot, but this was now compromised by the offending.

Peric sought a sentence of community work for his client, which the judge declined.

“This offending is serious indeed, and anything short of home detention would be completely inappropriate,” Judge Fraser said.

He sentenced de Hoog to six months of home detention and ordered him to pay emotional harm reparations of $750 to each victim.

“I hope we never see you back,” the judge told the man.

“But should you come back for similar offending, it will be imprisonment,” he said.

By Qiuyi Tan