Thursday, May 22, 2008

Open Season

In March, we brought you the story of Ricardo Ferrante, 34, who was acquitted of any wrongdoing by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals after he snuck up behind a 16-year old in a Target and took photos under her skirt without her permission. The Court stated that this did not constitute a crime because the girl was in a public place and therefore had no reasonable expectation of privacy. The lone dissenting voter, Judge Gary Lumpkin, wrote " is open season for peeping Toms in public places who want to look under a woman's dress." He appears to have been correct.

Via Feministing

Charges against Brian Presken, 32, of Florida have been dismissed. Presken used a mirror to look under a woman's skirt at a Barnes & Noble in Pensacola last Summer. His attorney did not argue that he was innocent, but that the victim had no expectation of privacy in a public space.
Defense attorney Katheryne Snowden argued that the voyeurism charge should be dropped because Presken's accuser didn't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place under Florida law.

The law under which Presken was charged states, 'It is illegal to secretly observe someone with lewd, lascivious and indecent intent in a dwelling, structure or conveyance, and when such locations provide a reasonable expectation of privacy.'
Judge George J. Roark III agreed and dismissed the case. Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille stated that while he does not plan to appeal this decision, he will ask the Legislature to consider amending the statute during the next session to include incidences such as these. Marcille also intends to move forward on a disorderly conduct charge that is still pending against Presken.

It appears that this lack of protection under the law is a widespread problem. If you know of similar instances please contact your representatives to lobby for a change.

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