Can You Be Arrested for Being a Peeping Tom in Colorado?

Whether the offender is a teenage boy or a fully grown adult, no one likes a Peeping Tom. The term is a silly name for someone who “peeps” into the windows of homes, either by using binoculars from a distance, or by getting up close and personal.

Usually, but not always, the Peeping Tom has criminal or sex-related intentions, so peeping is quick to make people inside the home uncomfortable. For someone who decides to peep, though, there are far more serious consequences than mere discomfort – it is a sex crime that could send you to jail.

Colorado Springs Man Peeping Into Windows, Invading Privacy

Troy Alan Deck, 47, is a Peeping Tom. From November 2016 to January 2017, Deck was reported to police for looking into multiple homes in Southwestern Colorado Springs. Deck is also a registered sex offender.

In January, Colorado Springs Police issued a warrant for his arrest for invasion of privacy. His status as a registered sex offender makes the invasion of privacy charge a felony, but there are other things that can tack on consequences or charges as well.

One big one: why the alleged offender is peeping. We mentioned above that peeping is often a sexually-motivated act. Someone may be trying to catch a woman changing, a couple having sex, of something similar.

If the motivation is sexual, or the Peeping Tom takes pictures of what they are seeing, there is a separate charge for the offender, and separate consequences. Offenders may be charged with both criminal invasion of privacy and invasion of privacy for sexual gratification.

Colorado defines Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification charges by saying: “A person who knowingly observes or takes a photograph of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent, in a situation where the person observed or photographed has a reasonable expectation of privacy, for the purpose of the observer’s own sexual gratification, commits unlawful invasion of privacy for sexual gratification.”

In most cases, invasion of privacy and invasion of privacy for sexual gratification are misdemeanor offenses. You will not be sentenced to jail for more than a year.

If, however, the offender has been previously convicted on sex crimes, or the victim is a minor, the charges are bumped up to a class 6 felony offense. Penalties for class 6 felonies include up to 18 months in prison and between $1,000-$100,000 in fines.

Denver Sex Crimes Lawyer

If the crime was committed for sexual gratification, the offender may face additional (and possibly lifelong) penalties. Invasion of privacy for sexual gratification is a sex crime that qualifies for Colorado’s sex offender registry. If convicted, the offender will have to continuously register his or her name, address, contact information, and so on with police.

The Colorado sex offender registry is a public list. If you are put on the registry for invasion of privacy for sexual gratification, it only takes a quick Google search for an employer, neighbor, or landlord to find out that you have a history as a Peeping Tom.

You Need to Fight Back against Charges

Even if you only face misdemeanor charges for invasion of privacy, photo evidence, a testimony from a witness claiming you were peeping to see “intimate parts,” or a history of sex crimes can add additional charges and put you on the sex offender registry for decades.

Because of this, it is vital that you get in contact with a Colorado defense lawyer as soon as you are charged so that you can give yourself the best chance at having your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.

About the Author:

Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.