Former Gainesville Assistant State Attorney Charged with Video Voyeurism

A 37-year-old former 8th Circuit Assistant State Attorney was arrested Friday on allegations that he used a cellphone to record a woman in a state of undress in a tanning booth at a Gainesville salon back in September.

The man was charged on Friday with one count of video voyeurism, according to records at the Alachua County jail. He was released on a cash bond of $1,000 Friday night.

The man resigned shortly after the incident.

The incident in question allegedly occurred on Sept. 4. A 51-year-old woman went in to get a tan while the man apparently stood behind her at the counter.

The woman told police he was “looking at me weird” and staring at her.

Tanning booths generally have walls that do not extend all the way to the ceiling because of the heat generated by the machines. The woman claims that she was wearing only her underwear and putting lotion on her legs when she saw what she believed was a cellphone being held over the top of the wall.

The woman believes the camera was taping her because she could see a light shining from it. She began yelling and called the man a “… peeping Tom,” according to reports.

The woman got dressed and asked an employee to call police. As she waited, the man reportedly walked out.

The man was identified through his registration at the salon.

A sworn complaint was filed, and the case was turned over the the 5th Circuit State Attorney’s Office in Ocala to avoid a conflict of interest. A prosecutor there filed the charge for the man’s arrest.

In order to convict an individual on a video voyeurism charge, the jury must find several key elements to be true:

  1. Defendant secretly observed the victim.
  2. The act was carried out with a lewd, lascivious or indecent intent.
  3. When the victim was being watched, he or she was in a dwelling, structure or conveyance in which he or she had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Penalties of this crime can range from a first-degree misdemeanor to a second-degree felony. If you have been accused of this crime, it is very important to not speak to anyone before contacting a criminal defense lawyer. Statements made to police or other individuals are usually the missing piece of evidence that leads to a conviction for those accused of this crime. A Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help with your defense. Do not delay, contact us today online or call 352-264-7800 to speak with an attorney immediately.