MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Bureau of Investigation says it has closed its investigation into nude photos being taken at a Montgomery tanning salon saying the matter was an isolated event.
"It was a picture of me nude in the tanning salon," says Rachelle Thornton. Thornton used to be a regular of the Electric Sun tanning salon on Chantilly Parkway. But now, she's never going back. "It's horrible just feeling like you're violated. I mean, and being a woman and the main thing that concerns me is...are my pictures on the internet now?"
Thornton says the ABI notified her a month ago that nude pictures of her were found on a computer at the salon. She says state investigators told her they found cameras in the tanning rooms. "I broke down and cried first...just stunned," she says. The ABI disputes that claim, however, saying only one photo of Thornton was found and that no surveillance equipment or hidden cameras were found in the salon.
Martha Earnhardt, A Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, says the investigation found no evidence that the privacy of other patrons was compromised.
Montgomery County Sheriff D.T. Marshall says when Thornton learned of the pictures she signed an arrest warrant. Sheriff's deputies arrested the owner of the store, Edward Swann, and charged him with criminal surveillance.
Thornton says she was always suspicious of Swann. "He would just stand in the room waiting on me to get undressed, and I would have to tell him excuse me, I've got to tan."
She says she's not the only one, that other women have similar stories. "A couple people ever since this has happened to me has came out in the open about this man."
Thornton says Swann would make inappropriate sexual comments to her. Now she says she knows why. She says stepping inside any tanning salon will never be the same. "I just don't feel that security anymore. I feel like I'd be looking for cameras. And, I mean, even when I go to a public bathroom now, I'm looking because this can happen."
Swann posted bond and is out of the Montgomery County Jail.
ABI officials say they've concluded their investigation and it's now in the hands of the District Attorney.