Lesser Than Child Pornography Charges
Voyeurism is a Utah sex crime that can range from being a misdemeanor all the way up to a second degree felony. A person is guilty of voyeurism if he intentionally uses a recording device like a camcorder or camera to photograph, film, or otherwise surreptitiously record a person to view the person’s body in a way that that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Basically it means recording a person nude, in their underwear, showing, all of those things one thinks of when thinking of a “peeping tom.”
If the spying was done on a minor under 14 years old the charges are upped by one degree, that is, it goes from a misdemeanor to a felony. Likewise, if the tom sells or otherwise distributes the photographs, films, recordings, etc. that also will increase the degree to a felony. So, if the recordings are of a minor under 14 years old and are distributed or sold by the tom, the tom is looking at second degree felony charges and 1-15 years in prison.
Voyeurism of a child is not considered child pornography because voyeurism does not have to include a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Thus, taking a picture of a naked minor will fall under the voyeurism charge rather than the sexual exploitation of a minor charge. It is for that reason that those charged with child pornography very often enter into plea deals where they plead guilty to voyeurism of a child.
Sex Registry Consequences of Voyeurism of a Child
Whereas a child porn conviction results in a lifetime registration requirement on the sex offender registry, a second degree felony conviction for voyeurism involving a child results in a 10 year registration period. That is the primary reason why voyeurism of a child becomes a plea option for child pornography charges.