gabriel moniz

Gabriel R. Moniz

WRENTHAM — A judge has dismissed the case against an Attleboro man accused of taking cellphone video or photos of a woman in the women’s bathroom at T.J. Maxx on Christmas Eve day in 2016.

Wrentham District Court Judge Thomas Finigan made his ruling Wednesday in the case against 50-year-old Gabriel R. Moniz of 44 Linden St. after the prosecution reported it was not ready for trial.

Moniz was scheduled for a jury-waived trial on charges of being disorderly and disturbing the peace. His lawyer, William Brennick of Walpole, requested the dismissal.

A charge of photographing an unsuspecting person in the nude or partially nude was dismissed by another judge earlier this year after Brennick argued there was insufficient evidence to even issue the charge.

Brennick argued that the woman told police she was not yet undressed in the stall of the bathroom at the Plainville store when she noticed the lens of the cellphone.

The woman told Plainville police she was in a stall in the bathroom when she noticed men’s shoes in the next stall and the cellphone pressed against an opening between the stalls.

She screamed and got the attention of store security before police were called and responded to the scene.

Finigan also ordered Plainville police to return Moniz’s cellphone, which was taken from him as evidence after the Dec. 24, 2016, incident.

Moniz told police he had mistakenly gone into the wrong restroom when he became dizzy and believed he was suffering from a seizure.

He denied taking any photos and said he may have placed his cellphone on the partition between the stall.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.

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