2007_07_pbarta.jpgThe Post got varying opinions from neighbors of Peter Barta, the Legal Aid lawyer accused of secretly videotaping his female colleagues. Barta was charged with four counts of unlawful surveillance and six counts of attempted unlawful surveillance after he allegedly planted a Sharper Image Security Camcorder Clock in his colleagues' offices to film them while they changed in their offices for the gym or court appearances.

Barta, who was on the Stuyvesant High School debating team and attended Georgetown Law, lives in Kew Gardens with his mother. The super told the Post, "He's a nice guy," but a neighbor said that when he pressed Barta's doorbell by accident, Barta "came down swearing at us. He called us f-ing a-holes. He has an attitude." The Post mentions that Barta was "described as a prodigious porn collector who regularly got deliveries of X-rated material at the Queens apartment he shares with his mom - including one tape of topless women at the beach." (A Girls Gone Wild video?) Barta resigned from Legal Aid Society last November, after the Manhattan DA's preliminary investigation, and has been working at a legal temp agency.

Barta has pleaded not guilty "at this point," according to his lawyer Henry Putzel III who also said the incident "tragic." The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog has the Manhattan DA's press release about the case (PDF).