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Video Voyeurism Penalties Under Attack

May 3rd, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Enacting Tougher penalties for voyeurs who plant cameras in unsuspecting places such as a girls high school locker room could be in trouble in Tallahassee. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the problem is that two high profile and very powerful groups are knocking heads over who should be held responsible.

Tough penalties for video voyeurs became an issue after a high school swim coach got caught with a camera in the girls locker room. What seems like a no-brainer has gotten very complicated at the state capitol. Thats because Floridas big retailers are asking for an amendment that would have given them blanket immunity from civil liability if someone who works for them got caught with a camera where it shouldnt be..

Sponsor Dave Aronberg is puzzled. Theres an amendment filed that would have given some protection to the business community in case there were an innocent victim of a voyeuristic act. Now, of course, if they had an employee who committed it. If they should have known there was a camera installed without their knowledge, then they would have still been liable.

The retailers demand threatens to doom the tougher penalties this year. Floridas trial lawyers are on the other side of this battle and theyre not giving an inch.

Attorney gary Farmer says it is a matter of fairness. If theres civil immunity, theres no incentive for Bealls or any other business out there to do checks to make sure that this type of activity is not going on. The criminal is going to get prosecuted, but the business that allowed this to happen would escape scott-free.

But even if tougher penalties singling out teachers and those who prey on minors fails this year, the law against shoving cameras under dressing room doors and other places they dont belong will stay in place. The video voyeur bill passed the senate today by a vote of 39 0. The House has one day to act before the end of the session.

Posted in Business, Criminal Justice, Legislature, Politics, State News | 2 Comments »

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