Texarkana man pleads guilty to filming other men at Planet Fitness


A man who used a cell phone to film other men in the locker room and showers at Planet Fitness in Texarkana, Texas, pleaded guilty to invasive recording at a hearing Thursday in Bowie County.

William Watkins, 48, appeared with Public Defender Shoaib Daredia at a hearing before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter said Watkins’ proposed plea bargain includes a five-year term of probation.

Tidwell scheduled Watkins’ case for formal sentencing Nov. 6 and ordered the probation department to complete a presentence investigation. Watkins is currently free on a $25,000 bond.

Watkins was arrested the morning of June 23 by Texarkana, Texas, police. A man who was taking a shower in the men’s locker room reported seeing a naked man lying on the floor with a cell phone when he pulled the shower curtain back to get his soap, according to a probable cause affidavit. The man quickly dressed and reported the man to gym staff, who called police.

When officers entered the Planet Fitness locker room, they noticed a man close a dressing room door. After a few minutes, the officers turned on a shower and the man, identified as Watkins, walked out of the dressing room without any clothes on. When Watkins saw the uniformed officer, he retreated back into the dressing stall but the officer caught the door.

Watkins gave the officer consent to look in his phone after denying he had been photographing anyone.

“The iPhone app Tumbler was open and it displayed photographs and videos of various nude and aroused men. I exited the app and opened up the photo library on Watkins’ phone,” the affidavit states.

The officer found a video which began with the tile floor of the of the shower room and was of the man showering though it did not show “private areas.” Also found on the phone was a still photo of a man sitting on a bench in the locker room with the Planet Fitness logo behind him. Watkins told the officer he comes to the gym to watch porn on his phone.

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