Reporter’s Notes

The voyeurism statute applies to “a person who intentionally views, photographs, films, or records the intimate areas of a person as part of a security or theft prevention policy or program at a place of business.” 13 V.S.A. § 2605(f). However, the statute contains exemptions for law enforcement officers engaged in official law enforcement business pursuant to state or federal law, and certain official activities of the Department of Corrections, law enforcement agencies, the Agency of Human Services, and courts.

Additionally, bona fide private investigators and bona fide security guards engaged in otherwise lawful activities within the scope of their employment are exempt from liability under subsection (d) (surveillance of person in a home). Note that this exemption applies only to subsection (d). The statute does, however, establish an affirmative defense for certain bona fide private investigators and security guards under subsection (b) (viewing or recording of intimate areas), which the Committee has included in the model instruction for that subsection. The statute also provides that it is not intended to infringe on the First Amendment freedom of the press to gather and disseminate news. 13 V.S.A. § 2605(h).

The Committee elected not to draft an instruction for subsection (c) of the voyeurism statute, which provides: “No person shall display or disclose to a third party any image recorded in violation of subsection (b), (d), or (e) of this section.” 13 V.S.A. § 2605(c).

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