Man sentenced to 90 days for taking pictures

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Josh66, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX - Man sentenced for using cell phone for improper photography

    This story was in the local paper today. (front page)

    A man was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 5 years probation for "Improper Photography".

    He was taking pictures of a young girl in the local Wal-Mart with his cell phone.


    Yes, it sounds weird, and the guy might be a pervert. But come on - this was inside a Wal-Mart! How perverted could the pictures possibly be?


    I'm not trying to say that this guy is normal or had no bad intentions... I don't know him and the article doesn't go into any detail about what the pictures actually looked like.

    I am shocked that he will spend 90 days in jail and be on probation for 5 years for photography.


    I'm going to try to find our local laws and ordinances online... I want to know exaty what "improper photography" is.
     
  2. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Kinda hard to make any conclusions on that article. It doesn't say if he was trying to shoot under a changing room door or just walking around taking pictures that a parent didn't like....
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah... There has to be more to it; but I mean, if he was doing anything like that I'm pretty sure he would have gotten his ass kicked on the spot, or at least detained until the police got there.


    But yeah, not really a whole lot of information in the article...
     
  4. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    The most detailed information in the article: "a woman and her daughter were inside the Greenville Wal-Mart on the afternoon of Feb. 10, 2008 and observed Hayes using his cell phone to take photos of the child."

    Definitely not enough to go on to figure out if this was malicious prosecution or if the guy actually was doing something wrong.
     
  5. Dcrymes84

    Dcrymes84 TPF Noob!

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    Dang that sucks but more information would be nice. Hes still a perv
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This is not a real surprise if you were from Texas or follow what happens there. There have been several arrests and convictions under this statue. One person was arrested for photographing two topless women at Hippy Hollow, the states only public nudity beach in a state park. There have been several cases of this type.

    Their law is not well written in my opinion. It is intended to deal with photographic or video window peeping or spying for the lack of a better word. To garner a conviction you must be able to show that the person was taking the photos with the intent to arouse.

    The interesting thing in the article was that the offender pled Guilty. That says a lot for a case like this and would explain the lack of detail in the article. Keep in mind that this is a sexual arousal case involving a minor. The news media has become very cautious when dealing with sexual matters, victims and children. This statue does not appear to carry the stigma nor the registration requirement of Sexual Offender however, which I found interesting since this is a felony.
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    "In an interview on March 19, 2008, Hayes told investigators with the police department he had used his cell phone to take the photos on multiple occasions during the previous year."

    That seems to mean that he had been persistent and it was a recurring offence. Normally I would think you'd get away with a one-off thing, but persistence like that supports malign intent pretty well. (Canada's Criminal Code actually makes it illegal to persistently follow a person anywhere. How I do so love that law.)
     
  8. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    The statute as you explain it seems to apply to both the people who shove a camera in a changing room (thus causing trauma from invasion of privacy), as well as people who use a 600mm lens with a 2x teleconverter on a crop body (where the 'victim' isn't hurt and is likely unaware of being photographed).

    Simply being a perv isn't enough to require someone to register as a sex offender - and AFAIK you wouldn't have to register as a sex offender unless someone was hurt (i.e. public indecency, public urination does not require you to register as a sex offender, right?). Ergo, you couldn't require people to register as sex offenders under a widely applicable law like this.
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Link to the statute please.

    ...I don't doubt you, but your google-fu is stronger than mine, and I'd like to read it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2009
  10. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes- That, IMO, makes him a perv. The lack of detail makes it hard to know what really happened though.


    What gets me is that this stuff happened over a year ago, and he is just now being sentenced. Gotta love our courts...


    I go to this Wal-Mart at least once a week... I just can't imagine something as (appanently) sick as this going on there.

    I still want to know exactly what constitutes "improper" photography - but I doubt I'll ever have to worry about it. It just startled me that someone was convicted of a photography crime.
     
  11. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    It depends on the state. In Tennessee, I hear public urination will indeed make you have to register as a sex offender. But its a loophole more than anything. I don't think it was their intention to do so when they passed the laws.

    I'm very liberal when it comes to civil rights (like most on here I'm guessing), but the most annoying part is the lack of finite regulations. I usually don't mind ambiguous wording and stuff like that, but in this case I'd like to know EXACTlY what situations will be illegal and which ones aren't.

    I also think it goes beyond government's reach to limit lust and desire. Its fine to photograph horrible acts of violence in public places, but take a photo of an of-age woman topless and you go to jail. WTF? I know this photo was of an underage girl, but still. If she's fully-clothed, there is NO WAY this guy should be jailed, perv or not.
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The story definitely smacks of something missing. You do not arrest someone for taking a pic in a Walmart... Texas (and I lived there 2 years), or anywhere else. You *do* get arrested in Walmart for taking pics of children in a covert manner with the intentions of not being honest with the parents of the child about what your intentions are with the pictures.

    This person would not be convicted if he was an average open, friendly and HONEST Joe... who walked up to the mom, asked for permission, and proceeded only after getting it.

    I recently started tutoring a young man and we went to a local park. A local school had their young men there playing baseball. I could have used the 200mm and taken the shots from a distance, but I asked permission of the head teacher. When asked why, I stated it was for tutoring purposes... he was still not comfortable... so I asked if we could still take pictures and when finished, show him the shots and then delete the shots in front of him... he smiled and said "thats all I would ask". Se we spent 45 minutes shooting the kids, from far, up close, the sides... ANYWHERE we wanted, and enjoyed the practice and the tutoring, studied the pics for at least 15-20 minutes then deleted the shots in front of the head teacher.

    No muss... no fuss, goals attained and both sides happy. If I was a creep or a jerk, I also would expect to be stopped by the cops... and rightly so. If anyone started taking pics of my niece, I sure would walk up and ask them to be deleted and the card formatted in front of my eyes... or I would pound on the guy a little and then call the cops myself!
     

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