A man was accused of using his cellphone to record people inside the public bathroom at Cumberland Mall in Cobb County.
According to police, officers caught the man in the act. He was standing in one of the stalls and lifting his cellphone over into adjacent stalls and filming people in the restroom. He was arrested on charges of peeping tom.
The term “peeping tom” is too often associated with young teenage boys and cute neighbors as seen in many movies. However, it is actually a serious crime in Georgia. Citizens have a right to privacy and invading upon that right is considered an offense in Georgia.
Peeping Tom in Georgia
Peeping Tom in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-11-61 as:
A person violates the peeping tom statute when they go about or upon the premises of another for the purpose of becoming a peeping tom.
There are certain elements that must be met for the offense to be considered peeping tom. Specific intent to commit the crime is an essential element of being a peeping tom. The accused must have been on or about the property for the purpose of spying on or invading the privacy of another. Moreover, it is irrelevant whether the attempt to invade the privacy of another was successful. If the defendant had the intent to invade and it was accompanied by an act in furtherance of that goal, then they will be guilty of being a peeping tom.
Peeping tom is classified as a felony in the state of Georgia. This means that a peeping tom conviction can include up to five years in prison as well as a fine up to $10,000.
Invasion of privacy crimes are taken very seriously and punished just as harshly in the state of Georgia. The basis of this severity comes from the right to privacy as alluded to in the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution stating “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects”.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today.