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Laws regarding: Voyeurism, Child Pornography, et al.

Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed VigiloConfidoRegistered User regular
edited August 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I was going to make this thread earlier in the week, but I've been working two jobs and oh hey, that makes for very little time to do this kind of thing. As it is, the situation has passed, with less-than-desirable results, but I'd like to check the facts in case something similar happens again.

Basically, my university has two programs: a 4-year program studying Gopher Gestation (not the real subject area, obviously, but I'm pretty sure if I put the real subject area it narrows it down to less than 10 universities in the country) for undergrads, and a 1-month program every summer where high school students can get a kick-start on their Gopher Gestation studies.

One of the undergrads (an 18-year-old we'll call Phil) was hanging out with a couple of the high school girls (17-year-olds), and took a picture of them. The picture, it turns out, was an upskirt shot of one of the girls -- the girls were unaware of this fact.

Sometime last weekend, the picture was uploaded to Facebook from Phil's mobile, with the caption, "This is why I like studying Gopher Gestation." It was present for a few hours at least, during which time one of my students (I'm a tutor for the undergrad program) saw it. The picture then disappeared.

My student brought the matter to me, asking for advice. It was a Sunday, so basically I did everything I could to gather info about the incident (spoke to everyone that my student knew had actually seen the photo, did some cursory research on the law). On Monday, I took the matter to my supervisor, asking if there was a protocol for this sort of thing -- he and the head of the department promised to look into it with their superior and the university attorney.

Furthermore, I did some amateur spy-work. I pretended my phone was acting weird, and asked to borrow Phil's phone so I could call home. While I was using it, I was able to establish that 1) he still had the picture, and 2) it was sitting right in the middle of his (rather extensive) porn collection. Because he still had it, I asked my supervisor and the head of the department not to do anything that would tip Phil off that these things were being looked into, for fear that the evidence would "mysteriously" disappear. They both agreed that was a good idea, and promised they'd keep it on the QT.

A couple days later, Phil had "mysteriously" become aware of the goings-on, and was overheard offering a rather lackluster apology to the girl in question -- he claimed it was "an accident", and that he "didn't realize" the nature of the picture when he posted it.

So basically, it looks like my administrators covered things up and swept them under the rug to avoid a scandal. God bless America.


My questions, so that (if there is a) next time I'll be able to speak with the authorities directly rather than working through people who are more concerned about scandal than about justice:

1. What are the hard-and-fast criteria for determining whether or not an incident constitutes illegal voyeurism?

2. Same question, but child pornography instead of voyeurism.

3. The girls who I tutored are incredibly uncomfortable around this guy, and want me to have a quiet, calm, "stay the fuck away from those girls" kind of a conversation with him as a substitute older brother -- especially since they have to be in this program with him for the next 4 years. If I have a single conversation with him about it, does that constitute harrassment, or is that within my legal rights?

4. Did we handle this properly, or was there something else we should have done from the beginning that would have led to a less disgusting result?

Gandalf_the_Crazed on
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Posts

  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    Given that it's an 18 year old who got "lucky" with a picture that happened to be an upskirt, it's not that big of a deal. Certainly not "child pornography" levels of big deal. The guy definitely shouldn't have put it on facebook, or even taken it really.

    You may want to mention to him that stuff like that can get him in serious trouble, and he may be a sleezeball, but he doesn't need to be arrested or anything. He even attempted to fix it by removing the picture and making an apology, right?

    edit: And I'm fairly sure that's not illegal voyeurism. It's a public campus presumably, and in public areas you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy to the point where you can protest someone taking your picture.

    This partially depends on the picture as well. Without seeing it, it's hard to tell if it was a deliberate upskirt attempt, or if he just took a picture of his female friends, noticed later, and made an asinine comment on facebook.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Tip off the local authorities and ask their opinion. Chances are nothing will come from it, worst case would've probably been a pain/suffering law suit anyways. Without knowing who it was, or whatever, it probably wouldn't help. Maybe the local authorities could subpoena facebook or something for the image.

    You are probably just SOL out of this anyways. I'd ask him to be removed from the program, though, hey, I'm sure it falls under some sort of decency clause that he signed.

  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    He even attempted to fix it by removing the picture and making an apology, right?

    I'm a pretty forgiving sort of guy, so this would normally be my advice to the girl. The fact that the guy still had the picture, though, especially given where he was keeping it... well, to me, it made the apology meaningless, given that he claimed it was "an accident".

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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited July 2010
    I'm not sure exactly what you were continuing to investigate after you'd confirmed he still had the picture, and was in fact the one who took it.

    Why exactly weren't the authorities called?
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    edit: And I'm fairly sure that's not illegal voyeurism. It's a public campus presumably, and in public areas you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy to the point where you can protest someone taking your picture.

    Voyeurism no, but I'm fairly certain the fact that he reposted what sounds like a pornographic photo of an underage girl online is serious fucking business.

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  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm not sure exactly what you were continuing to investigate after you'd confirmed he still had the picture, and was in fact the one who took it.

    Why exactly weren't the authorities called?

    Well it wasn't so much "investigating" as it was getting the legal resources of the university to help one of their underage students. I trusted my administrators to do the right thing.

    That won't be happening again. Those two can go fuck themselves.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    "borrowing" his phone and looking through his pictures doesn't seem right to me. I'm not sure you can bring that up to the authorities.

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  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    For what it's worth you did the right thing. In the future it would be wise to similarly bring any issue that a student brings to you to your supervisor. The dude is a sketchball, but as a tutor it really isn't your place to be Batman.

    This is of course if you are concerned about your job or a reference from your employer. If not, give this D-bag the business and go straight to the cops next time.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm not sure exactly what you were continuing to investigate after you'd confirmed he still had the picture, and was in fact the one who took it.

    Why exactly weren't the authorities called?
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    edit: And I'm fairly sure that's not illegal voyeurism. It's a public campus presumably, and in public areas you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy to the point where you can protest someone taking your picture.

    Voyeurism no, but I'm fairly certain the fact that he reposted what sounds like a pornographic photo of an underage girl online is serious fucking business.

    I'm not sure how this is pornography. She was wearing underwear & clothing, and was in public. Do you believe it is illegal to take a picture of a 17 year old at a public beach? Or a 17 year old who's bra is showing?

    Pornography is generally defined as media portraying a sexual act. If sexuality is merely suggested, it's erotic. Voyeurism is a type of erotic spying.

    Look, you could easily describe this entire episode as "So 'n so was sitting around with some other students, took a picture, and in one of the pictures you could see one girl's underwear." Are you claiming that's an illegal act?

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  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm aware 17 is technically underage in the US but given the age of all parties involved I'd be reluctant to start the "AAAGH CHILD PRONS" bandwagon rolling. It sounds like a dumb teenage boy being a dumb teenage boy.

    As distasteful as it may be a strong infomal slap on the wrist may well have been the best option (assuming he doesn't have a history of this kind of thing). He needs to know how much shit he can get in if he makes a habit of this and leave it at that I think.

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  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    "borrowing" his phone and looking through his pictures doesn't seem right to me. I'm not sure you can bring that up to the authorities.

    Someone invites me into his home and I witness illegal objects there, that's his problem and it's perfectly admissible. Same goes if he invites me to use his phone. It's called testimony. ;-)
    For what it's worth you did the right thing. In the future it would be wise to similarly bring any issue that a student brings to you to your supervisor. The dude is a sketchball, but as a tutor it really isn't your place to be Batman.

    Wasn't trying to be Batman, was trying to be sure of what I was saying to my supervisor. Batman would've broken into the guy's dorm at night and taken him to a dark alley somewhere. *shrug*
    I'm not sure how this is pornography. She was wearing underwear & clothing, and was in public. Do you believe it is illegal to take a picture of a 17 year old at a public beach? Or a 17 year old who's bra is showing?

    Pornography is generally defined as media portraying a sexual act. If sexuality is merely suggested, it's erotic. Voyeurism is a type of erotic spying.

    Look, you could easily describe this entire episode as "So 'n so was sitting around with some other students, took a picture, and in one of the pictures you could see one girl's underwear." Are you claiming that's an illegal act?

    The concern was with 1) posting the picture online even though (from the caption) he seemed to be aware of the picture's nature and 2) keeping the picture even after the Facebook incident.

    Furthermore, but completely worthless as legal material, is the fact that one of my students apparently had a similar experience with him earlier in the summer -- he "accidentally" took a picture, but she demanded to look at it and made him delete it because it was an upskirt.

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  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Given that it's an 18 year old who got "lucky" with a picture that happened to be an upskirt, it's not that big of a deal. Certainly not "child pornography" levels of big deal. The guy definitely shouldn't have put it on facebook, or even taken it really.

    You may want to mention to him that stuff like that can get him in serious trouble, and he may be a sleezeball, but he doesn't need to be arrested or anything. He even attempted to fix it by removing the picture and making an apology, right?

    edit: And I'm fairly sure that's not illegal voyeurism. It's a public campus presumably, and in public areas you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy to the point where you can protest someone taking your picture.

    This partially depends on the picture as well. Without seeing it, it's hard to tell if it was a deliberate upskirt attempt, or if he just took a picture of his female friends, noticed later, and made an asinine comment on facebook.

    Um, normally in public areas you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Having said that, there are exceptions and this falls into it. The Video Voyeurism Act of 2004 has a section on it, which can be summed up that if you are wearing clothing, then you have a reasonable expectation of privacy of not being photographed under said clothing. If he's in violation of that would be up to a court to decide, but as I said, there are exceptions to not having a reasonable expectation of privacy in public.

  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited July 2010
    EggyToast wrote: »
    I'm not sure exactly what you were continuing to investigate after you'd confirmed he still had the picture, and was in fact the one who took it.

    Why exactly weren't the authorities called?
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    edit: And I'm fairly sure that's not illegal voyeurism. It's a public campus presumably, and in public areas you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy to the point where you can protest someone taking your picture.

    Voyeurism no, but I'm fairly certain the fact that he reposted what sounds like a pornographic photo of an underage girl online is serious fucking business.

    I'm not sure how this is pornography. She was wearing underwear & clothing, and was in public. Do you believe it is illegal to take a picture of a 17 year old at a public beach? Or a 17 year old who's bra is showing?

    Pornography is generally defined as media portraying a sexual act. If sexuality is merely suggested, it's erotic. Voyeurism is a type of erotic spying.

    Look, you could easily describe this entire episode as "So 'n so was sitting around with some other students, took a picture, and in one of the pictures you could see one girl's underwear." Are you claiming that's an illegal act?

    Actually, if you'd bothered reading the OP, all we know about the photo is that it is upskirt, and it was apparently risque enough for the dude to keep it in his porn collection. No mention of underwear.

    This fact, coupled with the "child porn" question leads to a very reasonable assumption that the girl wasn't wearing any underwear. If I'm wrong, fine. But neither of us have the full facts, and I'm just working with where the facts lead me.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I think pornography can be extended by intent. If the intent was to be "erotic" or "suggestive" in nature.

    This is why it's okay from an artistic perspective to photograph naked people of any age, but, different depending on how you photograph them.

  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    except the fact that it's an upskirt picture and the caption make it pretty clear it's a sexual picture

    you can still get in trouble for owning sexualized pictures of minors, even if they are not naked or performing sexual acts, as it's still pornography

    a guy taking a photo of a girl at the beach isn't inherently sexual
    a guy taking a photo up a girl's skirt and posting a caption that implies sexual attraction is

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  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    She was wearing underwear. That was one of the things I researched; the law (as I understand it) asserts that lack of underwear is not necessary for the picture to be considered problematic, for lack of a better word.
    Um, normally in public areas you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Having said that, there are exceptions and this falls into it. The Video Voyeurism Act of 2004 has a section on it, which can be summed up that if you are wearing clothing, then you have a reasonable expectation of privacy of not being photographed under said clothing. If he's in violation of that would be up to a court to decide, but as I said, there are exceptions to not having a reasonable expectation of privacy in public.

    This is exactly the sort of information I was wondering about; the haze surrounding "reasonable expectation of privacy" had me confused.

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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited July 2010
    Okay, fair enough and thanks for the clarification. In that case, then yeah, I think you were probably following the correct course of action. Alerting the law probably would have been overkill, when simple academic punishment probably would have been sufficient.

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  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The nature of the incident itself is not particularly serious. What worries me is that it seems to have happened more than once. If the administrators who got him off the hook weren't aware of that they should be.

    I think he needs to be sat down and told this isn't a bit of fun and he could get in real trouble.

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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited July 2010
    As for your third question, IANL but I can't imagine a single conversation with the dude, at the behest of the girls involved would constitute harassment as long as you're doing so within your role as an employee of the university.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    "borrowing" his phone and looking through his pictures doesn't seem right to me. I'm not sure you can bring that up to the authorities.

    Someone invites me into his home and I witness illegal objects there, that's his problem and it's perfectly admissible. Same goes if he invites me to use his phone. It's called testimony. ;-)

    No I think it's more like he invites you inside, you get on his computer and start searching around looking for stuff. Or you go through his cabinets. If his wallpaper on the phone was the upskirt then you could probably use that.

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  • StuartenhaffenStuartenhaffen Registered User
    edited July 2010
    You may want to be careful with your amateur spy work. The person in question gave you his phone so you could make a phone call, not browse through his personal photo albums. If it was his wallpaper then yes, you have a right to bring it up, but you used deception in order to view private things.

    From reading this, the guys sounds like a bit of an ass. To play devil's advocate though, he took pictures of his friends. I presume they are attractive and his reasoning for liking Gopher Gestation class is because he gets to be around attractive girls such as this. He posts a picture, gets complaints because we can see up the skirt of one of them, so he takes it down.

    We only know it's sleazy because you found the picture amongst pornography on his phone. You shouldn't have this knowledge, so I think there would be a problem reporting it.

    Edit urahonky beat me.

  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I will now proceed to feel guilty about looking through the guy's phone that he willingly loaned me, a near-total stranger.

    I'm not saying it was entirely straightforward and forthright, but given what I was being told and what I was being asked to do (which was, potentially, to lend my name to beginning disciplinary action against this guy), I'm also not going to apologize for it. I don't make a habit of looking through people's private stuff, but if I've been told there's illegal material like that in someone's desk drawer, I'm gonna pop that drawer open and take a quick glance before I say anything about it to anyone.

    EDIT: Assuming I've already been willingly invited into the house where the aforementioned desk is located (analogies lol m i rite) -- it's not like I was gonna steal the phone to take a look.

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  • StuartenhaffenStuartenhaffen Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Well then you'll reap the benefits of that attitude. You are not the police and unless you have specific authority to look in these places, you will be the one to get in trouble. I'm not trying to make you feel bad or guilty, I'm just trying to give you sound advice on avoiding trouble.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    If it's spelled out as zero tolerance in the school's code of conduct, then duplicity is permissible. Teachers often set up sting operations to make sure students don't cheat in class. I'm sure you can dig that up somewhere to find out proper protocol. If you had to defend yourself in court I bet you could get away with it. People who make a living off of jacking information from unsecured networks skip all the time.

    Knowing nothing of the bowels of law, I'd say on face that this case would be more civil than criminal, which means that if the victim does not want to pursue legal action, then that's the end of it.

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  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You may find this relevant:

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/87863_voyeur20.shtml
    The state's voyeurism law protects people who are in a place where they "would have a reasonable expectation of privacy" -- meaning the person could expect to be able to undress in seclusion or "be safe from hostile intrusion or surveillance."

    But the court found the law doesn't apply to filming people in a public place, even if it's underneath their clothes.

    "It is the physical location of the person that is ultimately at issue, not the part of the person's body," Judge Bobbe Bridge wrote.

    The court, which also upheld Washington's voyeurism law as constitutional, noted that other states have had similar frustrations.

    Two years ago, California changed its law to include a broader range of voyeuristic behavior.

    In Washington state, Sen. Jeri Costa, D-Marysville, has for two years pushed a bill that would make it illegal to secretly film someone "under or through the clothing." She said yesterday that she hoped the court's decision would be "an impetus to make this a higher priority."

    Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, said he now plans to introduce a bill "unabashedly plagiarizing" California's law. He expects it to pass easily.

    Note that the issue here is STATE laws, so this will vary from state to state. In Washington, the law allowed for up-the-clothes public pictures . . . as the law currently read. But clearly the state also has the ability to pass a law making unconsentual up-the-clothes pictures illegal, as California has done.
    From reading this, the guys sounds like a bit of an ass. To play devil's advocate though, he took pictures of his friends.

    The girls obviously don't feel they're friends with this guy, as they're begging the OP to tell Creepy Guy to stay away from them.

  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited July 2010
    At the very least his behaviour should constitute sexual harassment which, leaving aside the whole question of whether his behaviour is criminal, is more than enough to get the university involved.

    You or, better yet, the actual girl(s) involved ought to contact who ever it is at Gopher U that handles sexual harassment complaints - every university I've gone to has had a dedicated office and staff to handle sexual harassment complaints and has had fairly low tolerance for that kind of behaviour.

    Frankly, I wouldn't worry too much about your sleuthing activities - poking around on his phone is hardly going to get him exonerated for what he has done.

    EDIT: sorry, one thing I forgot to add - I'm not clear what you mean by your "administrators covered things up" - do you mean faculty/staff in the program? I wouldn't count on them to address it fully. Look for whatever office handles complaints and has the authority to investigate and discipline this behaviour.

  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Well then you'll reap the benefits of that attitude. You are not the police and unless you have specific authority to look in these places, you will be the one to get in trouble. I'm not trying to make you feel bad or guilty, I'm just trying to give you sound advice on avoiding trouble.

    If he wants to press charges against me for finding his underage upskirts, he is more than welcome to do so. I would probably laugh, because any explanation of the facts would ultimately result in a slap on the wrist for me at most, getting off scot-free and ruining his reputation at best. I knew going into the phone that 1) I didn't believe my actions were illegal, but also that 2) I was willing to defend my actions in court if need be.

    I understand your motives now; originally, I thought you were trying to make me out to be a bad person for what I did, rather than just offering friendly advice.

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  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    Problem is some of those laws about video taping in public areas are actually to protect police officers. Which is sort of terrible. Quite a few people have been getting in trouble for say, taping a cop beating a guy illegally and putting it on YouTube. Then that guy gets arrested. It's pretty terrible.

    Personally, I feel there shouldn't be laws against photographing or video taping people in public.

    It should be illegal to purposely attempt to get risque shots of people of course, as that's creepy.


    Going to the police for an 18 year old who took a picture of a 17 year old girl's underwear is definitely overkill. Even going to the administration first seems a bit much to me as well, but far more reasonable. I'd definitely speak to the kid first, but if it is an issue after that speak with an administrator. That's how I'd handle the situation at least. He's 18, treat him like an adult, talk to him.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Well then you'll reap the benefits of that attitude. You are not the police and unless you have specific authority to look in these places, you will be the one to get in trouble. I'm not trying to make you feel bad or guilty, I'm just trying to give you sound advice on avoiding trouble.

    If he wants to press charges against me for finding his underage upskirts, he is more than welcome to do so. I would probably laugh, because any explanation of the facts would ultimately result in a slap on the wrist for me at most, getting off scot-free and ruining his reputation at best. I knew going into the phone that 1) I didn't believe my actions were illegal, but also that 2) I was willing to defend my actions in court if need be.

    I understand your motives now; originally, I thought you were trying to make me out to be a bad person for what I did, rather than just offering friendly advice.


    naw dude, we're all friends here. It's just that there is a sort of cognitive dissonance when you engage in deception for any purpose. Whether it's necessary or not, it doesn't blend all that well with moral values. It's normal to feel kind of strange if you do such a thing, even in good faith, and it feels just as weird to hear that a person's done something like that. Some people just feel bad about it whether it's justified or not, and that's completely normal.

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  • WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Lets skip right to the - What do you want? Phase.

    Do you want the dude to do prison time?
    Do you want the dude to be embarassed publicly?
    Do you want the dude to leave the school?
    Do you want the dude to be anally violated by rabid ground hogs?

    You can do most of these things with a little luck, but the ground hogs don't deserve rabies.

    If the administration isn't keeping you in the loop and it looks like they want to keep it quiet, you always have the option to go thermonuclear. Call the police, file a report and hopefully you'll get an indignant cop with a daughter.
    What the guy did isn't enough to be that serious....but lets face it, the guy has tendancies...ones that are now confirmed. He's not just creepy, he's at LEAST borderline predatory.

    So yeah he has an upskirt shot of random stranger. Omg..underwear, that isnt much to really get in trouble for. BUT. . . This is the internet. What are the odds he just has that one image? What are the odds this was just the one time? I bet this pervy bastard has a collection of stuff that would get him sent up the river for an uncomfortable amount of time. A police report and investigation would have them SEARCH his devices and probably get him busted for a lot worse than the original complaint.

  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited July 2010
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Going to the police for an 18 year old who took a picture of a 17 year old girl's underwear is definitely overkill. Even going to the administration first seems a bit much to me as well, but far more reasonable. I'd definitely speak to the kid first, but if it is an issue after that speak with an administrator. That's how I'd handle the situation at least. He's 18, treat him like an adult, talk to him.
    If his behaviour is making students in the program uncomfortable, that alone is enough to get the university administration involved - it's not overkill at all. But of course, it really should be up to the people who are being made uncomfortable to make that call.

    Revising my earlier post - I would suggest researching the services available at your school and how to make a sexual harassment complaint, and give that information to the girl(s) involved (not being students at the school, they likely wouldn't know how to go about doing this).

  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You know, as for the fact that it's only an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old (and that the word "underage" is a technicality in this case), that's a statement I can sympathize with. For example, it's technically illegal for a guy and his girlfriend to have sex if their age is split like that in some places, but it's not something that would concern me in the slightest.

    The problem is that these girls and their classmates, as minors, were taken under the care of the university for the duration of the program. Because of that, there is a responsibility to protect them zealously in every way possible, technicalities be damned.

    At least, that's how I see it.

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  • NylonathetepNylonathetep Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Not a law expert here but it depends on a few things. General advice is you shouln't take the law into your own hands. Never overreact in your situation especially.

    1) It depends on how deliberate that photo is. If it's like a group picture and one of the girl was wearing a very short skirt and accidently reveal something... that doesn't sound too bad at all. It's an accident and he did issue an apology. If it's an actually picture where the a guy have to had stick his phone into the girl's skirt... then he's basically screwed.

    2) "But she said she's 18!!!" basically applied here. First the law is very very strict in regards to child pornography and having them in posession is a criminal offense. Then again does she look 18? Does he know that she's underage when he took that picture? Is the picture scandalious enought to be classified as Porn? It all goes back to the picture and intent as this point.

    3) This is definately something you need to attend to, not because of the incident before hand but as a preventative measure against further incident in which you, acting as a person of supervision, are responsible to avoid. If someone have complain to you about this guy and you did nothing against it and some silly goosery happened you are to be held partically responsible.

    The smart thing to do is bring it up to your supervisor and as him on how to proceed, however, you really need to have a serious talk with this guy. Be careful on how you word everything.

    4) There's nothing wrong so far except you need to talk to this guy. Remember you have to persume innocent until proven guilty. He could have accidently taken that picture... he had issued an apology to the girl involved, and either you got ratted out or he's smart enought to realized he could be in a lot of trouble if he's caught with the picture. He probably even deleted that picture now if he's really smart. You can't be bias against him just because he has huge porn collection. I can see why you feel responsible to protect these girls but that doesn't equate to being overzealous about the guy. All you can do is preventative measure, keep a close eye on things, and pray nothing happens.

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  • Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    A stern verbal warning about how dangerous it is to get involved in what this dude is doing should really be all that's necessary, and to the op, in your capacity as a tutor I would say that you have zero responsibility to get involved at all.

    If the school's administration is already aware, they are the ones who can handle.

    I would STRONGLY SUGGEST that you do NOT contact the police about this, being slapped with a sex offender label could seriously ruin someone's life, and over a few candid pics of girls his own age? just not worth it.

    Seriously, if the administration is aware, you've done your due diligence, back off.

    edit-
    The problem is that these girls and their classmates, as minors, were taken under the care of the university for the duration of the program. Because of that, there is a responsibility to protect them zealously in every way possible, technicalities be damned.

    no no no no no no.

    Enforce the letter of the law without regard to the spirit? absolutely not. absolutely not.

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  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Well then you'll reap the benefits of that attitude. You are not the police and unless you have specific authority to look in these places, you will be the one to get in trouble. I'm not trying to make you feel bad or guilty, I'm just trying to give you sound advice on avoiding trouble.

    If he wants to press charges against me for finding his underage upskirts, he is more than welcome to do so. I would probably laugh, because any explanation of the facts would ultimately result in a slap on the wrist for me at most, getting off scot-free and ruining his reputation at best. I knew going into the phone that 1) I didn't believe my actions were illegal, but also that 2) I was willing to defend my actions in court if need be.

    You could get fired for going behind the back of your department head. They "dealt" with the issue. You don't knwo if the guy is on secret probation, just that he wasn't taken away in handcuffs.

    Also, the cops are not going to rely on your word to apply for a warrant to seize a phone to convict an 18 year old dumbshit of taking pics of 17 year old girl's panties.

  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You could get fired for going behind the back of your department head. They "dealt" with the issue. You don't knwo if the guy is on secret probation, just that he wasn't taken away in handcuffs.

    Not that it matters, but I'm not their employee anymore anyway. The job was just for the summer, and they had final exams yesterday. My employment is officially halted, and given the way I spoke to the department head, I don't expect to be hired again. (Basically, he was telling the girls just to take it easy and keep quiet about things. I let him know what a douche move that was.)

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  • kedinikkedinik Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm fairly certain facebook keeps and legally owns all the photos ever uploaded to the site.

    If the girl wanted to press charges or the cops wanted some evidence they could subpoena the photo from facebook.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    PS this is exactly the way all school administrations handle most things. Associate deans and faculty supervisors are just normal old professors who've just been in the game for a long time. All they wanna do is write a book or do some research or teach kids on the side and come home and watch David Letterman. They cross their fingers all day hoping that whatever scandal is brewing breaks after they retire. They really just have about as much a clue you do on how to best wrap up sticky situations.

    I've found the best way to deal is just use your youthful energy to do the homework they're too tired to take on - go and talk to lots of people, do some reading and show it to them, generally be helpful and be objective just to make the situation more familiar and easy to decide for them. Treat them like old people who need a boy scout to mow the lawn and eventually they'll make the call if you're good at drawing within the lines and maintaining a good amount of respect and detachment. Not everybody in a leadership position is a born leader, so sometimes you've just got to pave the road with apples to get the horse to come to you.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Problem is some of those laws about video taping in public areas are actually to protect police officers. Which is sort of terrible. Quite a few people have been getting in trouble for say, taping a cop beating a guy illegally and putting it on YouTube. Then that guy gets arrested. It's pretty terrible.

    Personally, I feel there shouldn't be laws against photographing or video taping people in public.

    It should be illegal to purposely attempt to get risque shots of people of course, as that's creepy.


    Going to the police for an 18 year old who took a picture of a 17 year old girl's underwear is definitely overkill. Even going to the administration first seems a bit much to me as well, but far more reasonable. I'd definitely speak to the kid first, but if it is an issue after that speak with an administrator. That's how I'd handle the situation at least. He's 18, treat him like an adult, talk to him.

    The stuff being used to prevent recording of cops is an application of existing wiretapping laws. The video voyeurism laws haven't been applied to it, and I haven't seen new laws created for it. It's just a terrible application of existing laws in a situation where there was normally accepted to be implied consent.

  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Sounds like the reasonable thing to do here is to speak to the administrative folks about the issue of the girls being uncomfortable around this guy and make the suggestion that you could have a talk with him so that he understands the seriousness of what he was doing and the consequences that could arise from it if he chooses to continue acting this way. They'll say 'yes' or 'no' but it will clear the OP of any responsibility thereafter.

    XBL: heavenkils
  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    saltiness wrote: »
    Sounds like the reasonable thing to do here is to speak to the administrative folks about the issue of the girls being uncomfortable around this guy and make the suggestion that you could have a talk with him so that he understands the seriousness of what he was doing and the consequences that could arise from it if he chooses to continue acting this way. They'll say 'yes' or 'no' but it will clear the OP of any responsibility thereafter.

    For what it's worth, I'm not really looking to be "cleared of responsibility", I'm looking to do right by these girls. Technically, my responsibility was fulfilled as soon as I mentioned the matter to my supervisor.

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