A Jacksonville man has been arrested for and accused of taking a video of a six year-old boy while he was using the bathroom. According to an article in The Florida Times Union, the crime allegedly occurred at a Walmart in the Northside of Duval County. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was called to the store after they boy’s brother, who is twelve years-old, told his parents he saw a cellphone in his brother’s bathroom stall. After the man was confronted by the boy’s father, Walmart security staff held him there until police arrived. According to the story, video surveillance showed that the man was in the bathroom for several hours prior to the alleged incident.
The man is charged with video voyeurism, which is considered a second degree felony in this case in Florida. The maximum punishment if convicted is fifteen years in prison. To prove the crime of video voyeurism in Jacksonville, the state attorney’s office must prove that the man intentionally used an imaging device to view or record the boy, without the boy’s knowledge or consent, who is privately exposing his body. “Privately exposing the body” is defined as exposing a sexual organ. “Imaging device” can be any electronic viewing device, camera, video camera or cell phone. The state of Florida would also have to prove that the recording was made for the man’s amusement, sexual arousal or gratification. Because the man is twenty nine years-old and the boy is six, the crime is elevated to a second degree felony. If the suspect was under nineteen, the voyeurism case would be considered a first degree misdemeanor.
While the crime of video voyeurism is sexual in nature, it is not considered a sex crime in Jacksonville that would require sex offender/predator registration. Even though registration is not required when convicted of this crime, the likely punishment would include probation to complete many of the conditions required on a sex offender probation in Duval County. The conditions may include getting a psychosexual evaluation and comply with any recommended follow-up, not being allowed to have unsupervised contact with minors, payment of restitution to the victim’s family for any psychological treatment of the boy, and possibly the wearing of a GPS monitor while on probation.