Birthday Behind Bars – The Price of Video Voyeurism
September 30, 2022 Don Pumphrey, Jr. Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes Social Share
It is illegal to film or photograph another person in a private place without their permission. Video voyeurism is a very serious charge in Florida and one that can have many different variations. Depending on the age of the victim and the severity of the crime, video voyeurism can have tough consequences.
A recent case in Florida shows a man’s second video voyeurism offense. We will cover the case’s details along with information on the video voyeurism statute in Florida.
What was the Incident?
On September 9th, 2022, Ciano Brown, 31, was arrested for video voyeurism that took place at a Walmart in North Lauderdale.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, a surveillance video showed the defendant walking down the cosmetics aisle when he placed his phone underneath a woman’s dress.
The following is the statement provided by Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Gerdy St. Louis:
“Surveillance video of the incident shows the female victim dressed in a floral dress browsing through the cosmetic aisle of a store. A man wearing a teal baseball cap and dark-colored clothes is then seen walking toward the victim before bending down and extending his arm under the woman’s dress. In the subject’s hand is a cellphone, which detectives believe he used to videotape and/or take pictures of the victim’s undergarments without her permission or knowledge.”
This was not Brown’s first video voyeurism offense. The defendant is already banned for life from the Aventura Mall in Florida after an incident that took place in February 2021.
According to the arrest report, Brown was apprehended in the Guess store for taking pictures of the sales associate’s underwear. Similar to the recent incident in Walmart, Brown had placed his cell phone under the victim’s skirt to try and take a picture.
Brown was taken into custody on Sunday, where he spent his 31st birthday behind bars for his most recent video voyeurism charge. He is still currently being held at the Broward County Main Jail.
Video Voyeurism in Florida
Video voyeurism is the act recording a person without their consent. Under Florida Statute section 810.145, video voyeurism can occur in one of three ways:
- The accused person intentionally used or installed an imaging device to secretly view, record, or broadcast another person for their own amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or to degrade or abuse the victim without their consent.
- The accused person intentionally used or installed an imaging device to secretly view, record, or broadcast another person for the amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit of another, or on behalf of another person without their consent while the victim is dressing, undressing, or privately exposing their body in a place where they were under the impression of privacy.
- The accused person intentionally used or installed an imaging device to secretly view, record, or broadcast another person for the amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit of oneself or another, or on behalf of oneself or another, to record through or under the clothing worn by the victim without their consent or knowledge, and for the purpose of viewing the body, or undergarments worn by the victim.
Video Voyeurism Penalties
The penalties for a video voyeurism charge depend on a range of factors such as the age of any victim, the defendant’s age, the severity of the crime, and more. A breakdown of penalties includes:
Video Voyeurism by Someone Under 19
If the defendant is under 19 years of age at the time of the offense, the charge will be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of imprisonment, one year of probation, and a fine of up to $1,000.
Video Voyeurism by Someone Over 19
If the defendant is older than 19 years of age at the time of the offense, the charge will be classified as a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, five years of probation, and a fine of up to $5,000.
Video Voyeurism by Someone with a Prior Conviction
If the defendant has a prior conviction, the offense is classified as a second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years of imprisonment, fifteen years of probation, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Video Voyeurism Against a Child
Video voyeurism against a child is an extremely serious charge with increased penalties and a mandatory sex offender designation. The offense is committed if:
- The victim was under 16 years of age and the offense was 24 years of age or older;
- The victim was under 16 years of age and the offender was 18 years of age or older and responsible for the victim’s welfare; or
- The victim was a school student, and the offender was an employee at the school over 18 years of age.
Video voyeurism against a child is classified as a second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years of imprisonment, fifteen years of sex offender probation, and a fine of up to $10,000.
For more information on Florida sex offender designations, visit our blog post here.
To read more about video voyeurism cases in Florida, visit our blog posts here and here.
Defenses to Video Voyeurism
For a person who has been accused of video voyeurism, it is important to know there are potential defenses to the charge. The following are potential circumstances that could be used as defenses against a video voyeurism charge:
- A security system installed for the purpose of recording a premise, with a written notice informing those on the premises that it is recording for the purpose of security;
- A video surveillance device that is clearly and immediately obvious to those around;
- A law enforcement agency that is conducting surveillance for the purpose of their job;
- The dissemination, distribution, or transfer of images by a provider of an electronic communication service or a provider of remote computing services.
- The person being recorded does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like on a public beach. Dissemination, however, could still be penalized.
To figure out which defense works best for a defendant who has been accused of video voyeurism, we advise seeking the legal help of a skilled defense attorney in your area.
Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida
If you or someone you know has been accused of video voyeurism, the best plan of action is to reach out to a defense attorney in your area. While it may seem extremely stressful to navigate the legal world, a strong attorney can provide you with a strong defense to your case. At Pumphrey Law Firm, Don Pumphrey and his team vow to stand in your corner and fight for your freedom. Call us today for a free consultation at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.
Written by Karissa Key