Is it a Crime to Secretly Videotape Having Sex with Someone?

Last November, John C. Kelly, a prominent Morgan Stanley investment manager was arrested for secretly videotaping his sexual encounters with three unrelated women in his E. 69th St. Upper East Side Manhattan apartment between September 2011 and December 2012.

Mr. Kelly was charged with three felony counts of unlawful surveillance in the second degree, carrying a potential maximum sentence of up to 12 years in prison. Last week an attorney for one of the victims said the secretly recorded videos were posted on internet sites, causing her severe emotional distress. Mr. Kelly is accused of secretly recording the three women performing sexual acts on him.

However, at arraignment last week, Mr. Kelly reportedly told prosecutors that the recordings were an accident, explaining that the escapades were caught on tape by a camera intended to watch his dog while he is away. Prosecutors said the videos showed the breasts of two of the women, and the breasts, vagina and buttocks of the third.

Although the sex was consensual, prosecutors said that Mr. Kelly did not have permission or authority to videotape the women, let alone publish it on the internet.

Mr. Kelly’s is a prominent Manhattan defense attorney who has represented former New York Yankee Joe Pepitone, and the estate of Nicole Brown Simpson – the slain wife of O.J. Simpson. He is not representing his son in this case.

A Columbus lawyer asked me if the secret recording of consensual sexual encounters is a crime in Ohio. The answer is yes, it is a crime; but in Ohio it is a misdemeanor, not a felony. The crime is called “Voyeurism.” Section 2907.08(B) of the Ohio Revised Code specifically states: “No person shall … surreptitiously invade the privacy of another to videotape, film, photograph, otherwise record the other person in a state of nudity.” Voyeurism under this subsection of the statute is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, but more importantly subjects the offender to mandatory registration as a sexual offender.

Criminal defense attorneys from our Columbus law firm have experience in defending against allegations of voyeurism, and all other sex crimes charged in Ohio. If you have been charged with, or are under investigation for voyeurism, or for any other sex offense in Columbus, or Ohio, please call for a free initial consultation.

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