GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Long Beach massage therapist was sentenced to five years in prison Monday for recording a partially nude client. A Harrison County jury unanimously found Matthew Pierce guilty on April 7.
Circuit Court Judge Lisa Dodson suspended three years of the sentence, so Pierce will serve two years behind bars followed by three years of probation.
Pierce will also have to register as a sex offender for 25 years after his release.
The investigation into the case was first launched in October 2014 after the client went to police and said Pierce had secretly videotaped her while she was changing clothes at his business.
She said she found Pierce had strategically placed a phone to record her after a therapy session. She was able to quickly send a copy of the video to herself, and she turned that video into investigators.
When investigators approached Pierce about the video, he claimed he had already deleted it.
"However, in an interview with police, Pierce admitted there may be a video of another client still on the phone that he accidentally recorded," said Assistant District Attorney Alison Baker.
Dodson said before handing down the sentence, she took into consideration Pierce's lack of criminal history and the fact that his massage license had been revoked.