LOUISIANA–The state legislature in Baton Rouge has made “video voyeurism” a crime that can be punished by fines and imprisonment. The measure, which Gov. M. J. Foster signed into law in mid-August and which took effect immediately, makes secret videotaping a crime if the videotape is used for a “lewd and lascivious” purpose.
The offense of video voyeurism carries fines up to $2,000 and the potential for imprisonment for up to two years for first-time offenders, with fines reaching $2,000 and the potential for imprisonment reaching three years for repeat offenders.
The law also singles out individuals who record nudity or specific sexual acts, or who videotape anyone under the age of 17 “with the intention of arousing or gratifying” sexual desire by providing for fines up to $10,000 and prison terms from one to five years without parole or probation.
According to The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, the law was enacted in response to an incident in which a man secretly taped a woman in her home in Monroe for more than two years, and could only be criminally charged with the unauthorized entry of a home. The Advocate also reported that the initial version of the bill, which did not require a “lewd and lascivious” purpose, was opposed by many journalists and private investigators who argued that the measure would have hindered their ability to work.
(1999 La. Acts 1240)