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Opening Arguments

It's the peeping, Tom

Hey, a prediction I got right for a change. Back in March, I predicted in the "No props for the peeps" post that the prosecutor would have a tough time making a voyeurism case against Fort Wayne upskirter David Delagrange, who was nabbed for using a camera attached to his foot to shoot video up the skirts of women and girls at Castelton Square Mall in Indianapolis. Sure enough:

That's because Commissioner Stan Kroh granted the motion to dismiss the 10 voyeurism charges against Delagrange . Four charges of attempted child exploitation still stand.

[. . .]

Delagrange's lawyer successfully argued that state statute says voyeurism is peeping in a dwelling, not peeping up someone's skirt in a public place.

"This is one of those instances because of the growth of technology, that someone is able to do this whether they be cell phones or whatever and unfortunately the law that I tried to introduce this year didn't get a hearing," said Indiana senator Tom Wyss.

As I said in March, I disagree with Wyss' contention that this is a technology-lag problem, since the Indiana statute does mention video cameras (it even enhances the penalty if they're used). The problem is that the part of the statute defining "peeping" is too narrow -- confined to places (such as restrooms and changing rooms) where disrobing occurs, creating an expectation of privacy. Our zones of privacy have been shrinking steadily in recent years, so here's a chance to broaden them a little. Wyss' attempt to deal with this didn't even get out of committee last session. Maybe this prosecutorial failure will get legislators' attention.