Peeping Tom laws are based on the need to protect against an invasion of privacy. Oklahoma laws allow citizens the right to expect safety and privacy within their own homes. The right of privacy can be extended to other places such as bathrooms, fitting rooms, and the like.
A Peeping Tom is a voyeur who violates a person’s right to privacy, often with some sort of prurient or other sexual gratification as the goal. A voyeur is a person who gets sexual gratification from illegally viewing or recording someone else who is engaged in some type of private activity, such as undressing, going to the bathroom, or who is engaged in a private sexual act.
Peeping Toms look through peep holes, windows and the like. They have telescopes trained on neighbor’s windows. With the advent of robotics, Peeping Toms have even been prosecuted for taking pictures under women’s skirts.
Conviction as a Peeping Tom can have serious ramifications.
Peeping Tom Laws In Wagoner, Oklahoma
Legally, a Peeping Tom is defined as a person who hides, waits or loiters near another’s residence, locker or dressing room, or in any other place in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy with the express and unlawful intent of watching or looking at that person in a clandestine manner. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1171.
It can help to look at each element that must be met by the prosecution in order to secure a conviction:
- near any residence, private dwelling house, or apartment building, or any locker, dressing room, restroom or any other place in which a person has a right to a reasonable expectation of privacy;
- with the unlawful and willful intent;
- to watch, or look upon any person;
- in a clandestine manner.
A Peeping Tom Conviction Can Be a Felony
While normally treated as a misdemeanor in Oklahoma, a Peeping Tom charge can rise to the level of a felony. The kind of voyeur who merely peeps on his neighbor undressing may be found guilty of a misdemeanor. This Peeping Tom may spend up to a year in jail, be subject to a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
However, there are circumstances in which a Peeping Tom can be convicted of a felony, a much more serious offense.
This crime becomes actionable as a felony when a person secretly records the incident using photographic, electronic or video equipment for any sort of illegal, illegitimate, prurient or lewd purpose, or who publishes or distributes any such image obtained from his or her recording. If that same neighbor records his neighbor undressing for his own sexual gratification or posts that on the internet, this Peeping Tom could be convicted of a felony crime. This is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Peeping Tom Conviction is a Sex Crime
A conviction as a Peeping Tom is considered a sex crime requiring that you register with the sexual offender registry. This cam limit your options for work and housing for years to come.
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