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GRAPEVINE (CBS11) – It was an invasion of privacy at a place you’d never expect it. A couple said their intimate photos were swiped at a car dealership – and sent to a swingers’ website.
“I never imagined that anyone else would see it,” said Claire Gautreaux of the two photos her husband snapped of her getting in and out of their bathtub.
The Gautreauxs also never imagined that those pictures would be sent to an email associated with swingers, allegedly by a sales employee of Texas Toyota in Grapevine. They said it happened nearly two years ago, when the couple was about to buy a car there.
Tim Gautreaux had downloaded an app on his phone for pre-approved financing.
“The salesperson asked to see the application on the phone and then told Tim and Claire that he needed to show the phone to his manager to get financing approved,” said attorney Gloria Allred.
In the five minutes the phone was out of sight, they say new car sales director Matt Thomas found the old pictures and emailed them to himself and to the swingers website. Tim Gautreaux discovered it through an app that tracks deleted emails.
“This private moment that was intended to remind us of our happiness together was ripped away and replaced with fear and uncertainty,” said Tim Gautreaux.
The Gautreauxs said the Toyota dealership denied that Thomas worked there. Their attorneys said Texas Toyota has never responded to them. Thomas is now facing criminal charges for breach of computer security, and the Gautreauxs have filed a civil lawsuit. For Tim, a pastor in Frisco, and Claire, who is expecting their first baby – they hope they can spare others their pain.
“I feel that my privacy and dignity were taken away,” said Claire Gautreaux. “I want to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
Toyota North America sent CBS 11 the following statement:
“While we cannot comment on the allegations in the suit, it is important to note that Toyota of Grapevine is an independently owned dealership. Toyota Motor North America does not own, operate or manage Toyota of Grapevine; it does not hire, fire or direct the day-to-day activities of the dealership’s personnel; and it is not involved in matters concerning employees of independent dealers. “
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