Video Voyeurism (Peeping Tom With a Camera)
Florida Statute 810.145 prohibits anyone from transmitting for their own pleasure or another’s pleasure images of a person’s sexual organs when they had a reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, this statute prohibits a person placing a video camera in a bathroom, tanning booth, or changing room at a clothing store to view other people’s private parts.
This statute also prohibits the distribution of voyeur videos created by another person for amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing another person. See Florida Statute 810.145(3). This might include many videos on the internet of celebrities or ex-girlfriends who are filmed in secret without consent.
A new word has been created called revenge porn. This is where an ex posts pictures or video of the other person on the internet as a way to get back at their ex following a nasty break-up. An angry ex could call the police and say the video was secretly taken after the relationships ended without her consent.
This statute also prohibits the selling of voyeur videos that the person knows or has reason to know they are voyeur videos created by a person secretly filming a person’s private parts in a place they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. See Florida Statute 810.145(4).
If you or someone you know has been charged with video voyeurism, do not hesitate to contact West Palm Beach criminal lawyer Roger Foley for help.
What the Prosecutor has to Prove to Convict of Video Voyeurism
The state prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant either:
- Intentionally used or installed a camera to secretly view, broadcast, or record the victim for his own amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing the victim; or
- Intentionally permitted the use or installation of an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record the victim for the amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, profit of another or on behalf of another.
- The victim was watched, broadcasted, or recorded at a time when the victim was dressing, undressing, or privately exposing her body;
- The victim had a reasonable expectation of privacy under the conditions of the viewing; and
- The viewing or broadcast, or recording of the victim was without the knowledge and consent of the victim.
The prosecutor is going to have to prove that the alleged victim was disrobing in an area where privacy would be expected such as tanning booths, bathrooms, or dressing rooms. If the individual was out in public and had very provocative clothing on (Janet Jackson or Nikki Minaj wardrobe malfunction?), then the alleged victim might not have an expectation of privacy. Furthermore, this statute cannot be used to prevent a man from video tapping a girl in a bikini on the beach because the girl had no expectation of privacy in a public place.
There are many defenses that can be made in these types of cases. The facts of the case will determine what is available. For example, a man who had a camera taped to his shoe and was putting it up under girl’s dresses is going to have a hard time raising a defense while a man who had no knowledge of video equipment that was installed by some 3rd party construction worker would have an easier time raising a defense.
The punishment depends on how old the defendant is. If the defendant is under 19 years of age, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor which is punishable up to 365 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
If the defendant is over 19 years of age, the crime is a third-degree felony which is punishable up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
A previous conviction under this statute will be committing a second-degree felony which is punishable up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
If the crime involved a child in a situation under subsection eight of the statute, the crime is a second-degree felony which is punishable up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Contact the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.
This crime can be defended. If you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with this crime, call our office to schedule an appointment. Our attorneys can look over the facts and hear your side of the story. Our attorneys have experience in dealing with criminal cases and will help you navigate these difficult times. We will take depositions of the police officers involved and any witnesses. From that evidence we will further refine your defense. We will try to persuade the prosecutor to drop your case. If the prosecutor is not persuaded, we can take the case all the way to trial. Call today to schedule a 5 minute free consultation so we can get to work on your case.