Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Unintended Consequences of a Good Law

This statue was created to protect women and children from peeping toms. What it was not created to do was protect sexual predators from legal prosecution. The fact that a sexual predator would use it to exclude evidences from a criminal trial is just unthinkable and inexcusable. Clearly, this law must be amended to allow victims to legally videotape criminals in the act of committing a criminal offense even if that offense is happening in the privacy of their own home. We would not want sex offenders getting away with their crimes just because they commit them in their own bedroom or in a place where they reasonable expect privacy.

New Mexico State Statue 30-9-20. Voyeurism prohibited; penalties.

A. Voyeurism consists of intentionally using the unaided eye to view or intentionally using an instrumentality to view, photograph, videotape, film, webcast or record the intimate areas of another person without the knowledge and consent of that person:

(1) while the person is in the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room or tanning booth or the interior of any other area in which the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy; or

(2) under circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether in a public or private place.

B. Whoever commits voyeurism is guilty of a misdemeanor, except if the victim is less than eighteen years of age, the offender is guilty of a fourth degree felony.

C. As used in this section:

(1) "intimate areas" means the primary genital area, groin, buttocks, anus or breasts or the undergarments that cover those areas; and

(2) "instrumentality" means a periscope, telescope, binoculars, camcorder, computer, motion picture camera, digital camera, telephone camera, photographic camera or electronic device of any type.