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Texas man faces improper visual recording charges

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The consequences of a sex crime conviction are serious. Convictions mean not only possible prison time, but a potential life time sex offender registry and damage to reputation. The sex offender label makes it harder to get a job, to rent an apartment or to buy a home.

An Austin man was recently arrested when he allegedly spied on women in a busy thrift store. The store employee noticed the man moving throughout the store with a water bottle and a "koozie." According to the store employee, every time a woman walked by, the man would click a device attached to the koozie. The man also reportedly put his foot out in an awkward manner toward the dressing rooms.

The man eventually ran from the store when a suspicious employee was making efforts to advance toward the man. The police claim that when they stopped the man he turned over three hidden cameras, found in the koozie, his sandal and another no larger than a ballpoint pen.

The man now faces charges of improper photography or visual recording. Texas law makes it a felony offense to record another person in a public place without their consent, when the recording is of some sexual nature.

Technological advances have made it increasingly easy to transmit photos and video by email or via public sites, such as YouTube. Texas law may also fault individuals who only forward a recording or video of such nature, if it is later learned that the recording was non-consensual. In this way, the law has not yet caught up with society and technology, where teenagers have increased access to recording devices and a generation exists that is not nearly as concerned with privacy as others used to be.

Sex crime allegations, such as those faced by this man, can cause criminal penalties and indefinite reputation damage. An experienced advocate will be well versed in the law so as to present the most effective defense and ensure justice is served.

Source: KHOU, "Man accused of spying on Woman with hidden camera arrested," Morgan Chesky, April 18, 2012

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