In general, voyeurism is a misdemeanor. Florida Voyeurism can be a felony if the defendant has a prior voyeurism conviction. Video voyeurism is a different story. There are harsher Florida laws for video voyeurism. Video voyeurism is normally a felony. Florida statute 810.145(6)(a) makes the crime a misdemeanor if the defendant is 19 years old or younger. This is not the case for a University of Florida professor. Don A. Samuelson is a tenured veterinary professor at the university. He was arrested on “two counts of video voyeurism of a 19-year-old or older, a third degree felony.” First Coast News reported the story:
“According to UF’s police department, on two separate occasions in April professor Don A. Samuelson allegedly used an imaging device to secretly view and record under a student’s shirt. According to police, Samuelson pointed the pen towards the gap between the female student’s chest and the v-neck of her shirt. In June, Samuelson allegedly targeted another student, aiming the camera pen down her cleavage. In August, he allegedly targeted the same June victim, this time when he pointed the pen up her skirt, the victim noticed he was videotaping, according to the report. The camera pen containing multiple pornographic images was allegedly found in Samuelson’s office Sept. 9. by university police, and he admitted it was his. The pen had an integrated USB thumb drive where the videos were stored, according to police…. Also on various thumb drives recovered by police were videos of several other females working in Samuelson’s lab or meeting with him in his office.”
Police stated that Samuelson spoke with them about the allegations. He “claimed he was attempting to gather proof that one of the women was not wearing undergarments because he thought it was inappropriate.” I am assuming that he made these statements upon his arrest and not while he had a Florida criminal defense attorney present. Normally, your Florida criminal lawyer will advise you not to make statements upon your arrest. While you may want to speak about the allegations and defend yourself, it is best to talk with a Jacksonville FL lawyer or an attorney that knows the law in your state first.
Janine Sikes Assistant is the Vice President of Media Relations at the University of Florida. She stated that Samuelson “was placed on administrative leave as soon as the university learned of the allegations against him and he is prohibited from campus.” She added “In situations of a serious nature such as the allegations in this case, the appropriate course of action is termination.”
At this time, Samuelson’s job should be the least of his worries. I am assuming that he did not have a Florida criminal record. Now, he is facing two felony charges. He will need to fight the charges to avoid a possible jail sentence and felony conviction.