An American Idol winner is being investigated by the Louisiana State University (LSU) Police Department on suspicion of using a listening device to spy on his former girlfriend.
Laine Hardy, who sang his way to victory on season 17 of the musical talent show broadcast in 2019, was arrested on Friday. It is alleged that the 21-year-old singer bugged the college dorm room of his ex, an LSU student.
LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said Hardy, of Livingston, Louisiana, now faces a felony charge of interception and disclosure of wire, electronic or oral communication. If convicted, he could be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison.
The singer was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on April 29 after surrendering to members of the LSU PD.
Hardy’s arrest warrant reportedly details how a female LSU student and her roommate discovered a hidden recording device in their college accommodation on April 6 and reported it to the university’s police department the next day.
The device, which was similar in appearance to a cell phone charger, was found secreted underneath a futon belonging to the student.
Officers heard how the student suspected that the device had been planted by her ex-boyfriend Hardy because he was mysteriously aware of details about her life that she had not disclosed to him.
After launching an investigation into the matter, police found evince that the device had been used to make secret recordings over a 10-day period in February.
A police affidavit said: “The victim advised she immediately confronted him [Hardy], to which he admitted to her that he left a ‘bug’ in her room but discarded it in his pond.”
Hardy’s attorney, C. Frank Holthaus, told USA Today that his client “has been and will continue to be completely cooperative with the Louisiana State University Police Department on this matter.”
Acknowledging the investigation publicly on social media on Thursday, the alleged snooper told his followers: “I humbly ask for privacy at this time. I have the utmost respect for the law and will assist in their investigation as needed moving forward.”