The gym owner at the center of a hidden camera investigation allegedly stalked a San Luis Obispo County woman for two years, the woman told The Tribune.
Cole Corrigan, owner of the “24-hour gym for females” known as CCC Fitness, is alleged to have hidden a camera in the women’s restroom of the gym.
The camera was discovered on Tuesday inside the restroom at 81 Higuera St. — the address of the gym — according to a news release from the San Luis Obispo Police Department. Little information about the incident has been disclosed since.
On Wednesday evening, CCC Fitness identified Corrigan as the target of the investigation in an Instagram post. The post was deleted by Thursday morning.
The incident would not be the first time Corrigan has run afoul of the law.
A Tribune investigation found he had seven previous convictions for various crimes, including a felony drug charge, public intoxication, driving under the influence and prowling, between 2006 and 2008. However, all of those convictions were purged from his record in 2018, court documents show.
The prowling conviction came in 2007. According to court records, Corrigan was originally charged with both prowling and trespassing but ultimately struck a plea deal admitting guilt to prowling only. The trespassing charge was dismissed.
Prowling is defined as lingering, loitering or wandering in the property of another without a lawful purpose or for the purpose of committing a crime.
He was sentenced to one year of probation.
Corrigan could not be reached for this story despite repeated attempts.
Strange noises outside woman’s home for years, she says
The prowling conviction was the culmination of two years of terror for one San Luis Obispo County woman, who said Corrigan’s arrest was the moment she confirmed he was her stalker.
The Tribune has agreed to keep woman’s identity protected.
For two years, the woman said, she regularly called 911 to report someone watching her from outside her bedroom window at her then Los Osos home.
She was in her early 20s at the time.
She never saw him directly, she said. Sometimes she would see shadows — a tall man with a defined physique — but she would hear him: footsteps outside her room, the outdoor balcony creaking and other noises.
One day, she told The Tribune, she was getting ready for her brother’s football game when she “had this overwhelming feeling I was in danger.”
She then called for a police escort from her front door to her car parked in the driveway, she said.
Whenever police responded, she said, they found evidence — muddy footprints or beer cans — that someone had indeed been outside her window.
But the unknown man was always able to evade police officers. He typically came to the house after dark, the woman said, and her home had easy access to a shopping center on Los Osos Valley Road with multiple exits.
Woman went to elementary school with alleged stalker
On Oct. 2, 2007, the woman said, she and her brother heard a noise outside the house that made them jump.
The sun was setting, the woman said, but there was still light out.
Her brother went outside and tossed a pine cone in the direction the noise came from to ensure it wasn’t an animal.
That’s when a large man wearing a black hoodie, white undershirt and denim jeans leapt over their yard’s fence and ran toward the nearby shopping center.
She and her brother chased the man with a baseball bat while a bystander at the shopping center called 911. Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene quickly, the woman said, and made an arrest.
That’s when the woman recognized the person, she said.
It was Corrigan, a man she went to school with at nearby Baywood Elementary. She had seen him around town every so often as they grew up, she said, but they never spoke.
She still isn’t sure why he seemed preoccupied with watching her and her family’s house, or exactly how long it had been going on.
According to court records, Corrigan was released two days later to serve his one year of probation.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office then issued emergency protective orders against Corrigan for the woman and her brother, the woman said.
The Tribune could not independently verify the protective orders because the court does not keep records of that type back that long.
Man arrested naked one week after release
On Oct. 13, 2007, about a week after his release, Corrigan was arrested again, court records show. He was near the woman’s Los Osos home. And he was naked.
According to Tribune reporting at the time, Corrigan was walking unclothed in the area of Fifth Street and Santa Ysabel Avenue at around 3 a.m., “appearing to be under the influence of illegal drugs.”
Sheriff’s deputies followed him to Seventh Street and El Moro Avenue, where he failed to cooperate with their directions.
Deputies then shot Corrigan with beanbag and pepperball ammunition, pepper spray, struck him with batons and tased him. Despite these efforts, he did not surrender.
At some point in the interaction, Corrigan broke his jaw and was transported to a Fresno hospital for surgery.
He was charged with obstructing or resisting a public official with threats and/or violence.
He pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to three years of probation.
The woman said she is “forever thankful” to the deputies who caught Corrigan that night.
Corrigan has never been charged with a stalking crime in relation to these incidents.
Woman reacts to hidden camera allegations
The woman said learning the news that Corrigan is alleged to have hidden a camera inside a women’s restroom at his women’s gym felt like a “gut punch.”
She said she was shocked the city and county allowed him to open a women’s gym given his criminal history pertaining to her case.
Corrigan “should have never been allowed to operate any women’s-only facility of any kind,” she said, even though the previous crimes were expunged from his record five years ago.
The woman hopes sharing her story will help others come forward, she said, though she fears there are victims “he’s done far worse to.”
Anyone with additional information who wishes to speak to The Tribune about their experiences as part of a news tip may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to get help
If you or someone you know are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-4673. The hotline offers a range of free services including confidential support from a trained staff member, help finding a local health facility, legal and medical advice and referrals for long-term support.
If you or someone you know are a survivor of domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. The hotline offers a range of free services including confidential support from a trained staff member, help finding a local health facility, legal and medical advice and referrals for long-term support.
Survivor support and resources are also available through Lumina Alliance at luminaalliance.org or their Crisis and Information Line at 805-545-8888.