Texas pastor and spouse sue automaker, sales boss cuffed
A Texas couple is suing Toyota and one of its car dealerships after one of its staff allegedly stole saucy snaps off their cellphone and emailed them to a swingers website.
Last year, pastor Tim Gautreaux and his wife Claire were shopping for a Toyota Prius at a nearby car dealership in Grapevine, Texas.
To expedite the sale, Gautreaux had documents already approving him for a loan for the vehicle stored on his smartphone, and claims the salesman asked to show the device to his manager.
The phone was out of the couple’s sight for about five minutes, they say, but when the pastor got it back he saw that an image was on the top screen – one of a couple of sexy snaps he’d taken of his wife as she was getting into and out of the bath.
Subsequent investigation showed that the pictures had been emailed to an account at a website for swingers, the couple claims, and they called the police. Matthew Luke Thomas, the dealership’s sales director, was arrested last month and charged with allegedly breaching a computer’s security, a class B misdemeanor.
Thomas is out on bail. Meanwhile, the Gautreauxs have now hired high-powered human rights lawyer Gloria Allred and are suing Thomas, Texas Toyota of Grapevine and Toyota Motor North America, claiming [PDF] breach of contract, intrusion, negligence and public disclosure of private facts.
The couple took their case to the Dallas County court on December 1, claiming the photos were swiped in January 2015, and have asked for more than a million bucks in relief.
“Undoubtable this is not the first time that this has happened,” Allred claimed during a news conference on Thursday, the Dallas Morning News reports. “But we hope the public awareness will help to put a stop to it.” ®
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