Pa. man who was secretly filmed in gym locker room files lawsuit

A Pennsylvania man who was secretly photographed and videotaped while naked in the Planet Fitness locker room inside the Nittany Mall filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the business and the man who filmed him.

The man, who was only identified by his initials, accused private investment firm Argonne Capital Group and National Fitness Partners of doing little to stop Matthew Nelson from recording him when he was a minor, despite fielding similar allegations months prior.

“They did nothing to protect other people at the gym, including our client, which allowed for their victimization,” attorney Nate Foote said Thursday. “We think that the case is strong and that Planet Fitness should be held accountable for their failure to act.”

A gym member first reported being clandestinely recorded in the locker room by Nelson in April 2019. Gym employees did not report the incident to police, attorney Veronica Hubbard wrote in the 11-page lawsuit.

Nelson’s gym membership continued, but he was accused of recording a then 16-year-old boy less than five months later. Nelson admitted to taking photos at the gym when questioned by State College police.

Nelson, 34, was charged in January 2020. He pleaded guilty in May 2021 to three misdemeanor counts of harassment and was sentenced to three years of probation.

Neither Argonne Capital nor National Fitness Partners, one of the largest franchisee organizations within the Planet Fitness system, immediately responded to a request for comment Thursday. An attorney for Nelson was not listed.

“Nelson’s conduct in this case was extreme and outrageous, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” Hubbard wrote.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He was raised in Mifflin County and graduated from Lock Haven University.

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