Think for a minute of your private moments in your bathroom. Then consider the possibility of their ending up on videotape.

Take that unsettling notion one step further and imagine that police officers had viewed that videotape.

That is just what has happened in Cheverly, where police confiscated almost 200 videotapes from the home of a man they said was using a town-owned camera to film unwitting residents in their bathrooms at night.

No charges have yet been filed, but the police department has sent the case to the Prince George's County State's Attorney Office for presentation to a grand jury, according to Cheverly police Sgt. E.W. Day.

It is a felony under Maryland wiretap laws to use electronic equipment to film or record people without their knowledge. Being a peeping Tom is only a misdemeanor in Maryland, however.

"We're still trying to identify people in the films, but a lot of the people in the film are people we know," Day said.

"We've had some county officials who know people in the neighborhood. And they've helped us identify people as well. Of course, it's all a little embarrassing."

Police began investigating after a Cheverly resident found a video camera on a tripod in his back yard about 9:30 p.m. on June 16, Day said. The camera, which was marked as the property of the Town of Cheverly, was running and pointed directly at the man's bathroom window, Day said.

The camera, police said, was part of a pool of equipment used by Cheverly's television committee to film town meetings, Day said.

On June 19, police raided the suspect's home and seized 191 tapes and other equipment, Day said.

"Most of the people {in the videotapes} don't have a whole lot showing, but on some of the tapes, you can see all you'd want to and more," Day said. "Most of it is pretty repetitive, but some of it is hilarious."

Day said that residents apparently were filmed over several months because in some tapes a woman who is now nine-months pregnant shows no sign of pregnancy. In many instances, Day said, the camera apparently was left running over night and then was picked up in the morning. The audio also was left running on the camera, producing a sound track complete with crickets, traffic noise and occasional snatches of conversation from inside the houses filmed, Day said.

"There's really no redeeming social value to any of this unless you wanted to make a study of how people get on and off the toilet," Day said.