A Utah couple is facing class A misdemeanor voyeurism charges after they used a personal drone to invade the privacy of their neighbors.
39 year old Aaron Dennis Foote of Orem, Utah and his 34 year old girlfriend Terisha Lee Norviel were arrested after a neighbor saw the drone filming through his open window, seized the unmanned aircraft, and handed it over to police. Authorities discovered the drone had been used to film multiple people while in their bedrooms and/or bathrooms on single level as well as multiple level residences. Police were able to quickly apprehend Foote and Norviel after using info collected by the drone including a picture of Foote’s face as well as his license plate.
According to Utah Code 76-9-702.7, there are various penalties associated with voyeurism. The penalty for voyeurism is a class B misdemeanor if the person “views or attempts to view an individual, with or without the use of any instrumentality;
(a) With the intent of viewing any portion of the individual’s body regarding which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether or not that portion of the body is covered with clothing;
(b) Without the knowledge or consent of the individual; and
(c) Under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.”
That charge is increased to a Class A misdemeanor if the victim of voyeurism is a child less than 14 years of age.
Voyeurism using concealed electronic equipment
When concealed electronic equipment such as a hidden camera or a spy drone outside a window is used to commit voyeurism, the charge is increased to a class A misdemeanor or third degree felony if the voyeurism is committed against a child under 14 years of age. Again, the charges remain the same based strictly on intent. Whether or not the person committing voyeurism succeeded in viewing the private areas of the other individual(s) body remains irrelevant.
According to Utah State Courts:
• a third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine;
• a class A misdemeanor carries a possible jail term of up to one year plus a $2,500 fine;
• Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Anyone facing charges for voyeurism, with or without a drone, should consult with a criminal defense attorney to discuss any felony or misdemeanor charges.