Texas Teacher Charged With Invasive Visual Recording

A Texas teacher was recently charged after being suspected of using hidden cameras to film female students who undressed in a classroom closet. More specifically, the video camera captured six teenage girls in “various stages of undress” from the 2015 to 2016 school year. Thomas’ live-in girlfriend was the individual who first notified law enforcement about the teacher’s activity. After being placed on administrative leave when suspicions of the teacher’s activities first arose, he was subsequently charged with six counts of invasive visual recording. Students at the high school have taken to social media to announce their unhappiness with the teacher’s activity. It was later revealed that the teacher in question had been arrested four times in 2010 for harassment with probation being completed for the first two charges, the third charge being dismissed, and a plea bargain agreement being entered for the fourth charge.

Invasive Visual Recording

Invasive visual recording laws in the state of Texas grant law enforcement the right to arrest an individual if he or she is believe to take, or help distribute, any type of photograph or video that either depicts someone’s “intimate area” or someone in a bathroom or changing room. An intimate area is defined as the naked or clothed genitals, pubic area, anus, buttocks, or female breast of a person, with a female breast further being defined as any portion below the top of the areola. Changing room are defined to include room or partitioned areas that are used primarily for changing clothes. The term ‘promotes’ refers to individuals who manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmit, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, or advertise the material. Individuals can be charged with invasive visual recording if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of an invasive recording charge are present. Prosecution from the state of Texas is permitted to use an individual’s cell phone or camera against them. Prosecution is also permitted to obtain internet records that can provide information related to the use of virtually any device connected to the internet.

Potential Consequences

Invasive visual recording in the state of Texas is defined a state jail felony which means that individuals can be punished by up to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. This law has in some circumstances been known to lead to people being accused of a crime when they did nothing wrong. If the recordings in question are the result of consensual sexual activities that individuals share with their partners, then a strong defense can likely be raised. In some other circumstances, individuals might have taken the recording under the belief that the individual had permission.

Contact a Talented Criminal Defense Attorney

For individuals who have been charged with invasive visual recording, it is a wise idea to contact a skilled attorney at Wheeler Law Office who can make sure that your case is resolved in a positive manner.

(image courtesy of Heinrich Böll Stiftung from Berlin, Deutschland)