The offense of “Observation without consent” is what we commonly think of as the neighborhood ‘Peeping Tom.’ If the defendant spies on another person who is unaware of the spying, and who would be embarrassed if they learned of the spying, and if the defendant is looking at the person for the purpose of sexual gratification, then he or she could be charged with this offense.
If the person being spied upon is under thirteen years of age, then this offense is a felony. If the person being spied upon is over thirteen but still a minor, then it is no consent that the minor consented to being viewed.
The most severe penalty of this offense is that conviction will result in the individual being placed on the Sex Offender Registry. If you have been charged with Observation without consent, please contact me immediately to discuss how we can defend your reputation and your freedom.
Tenn. Code Ann. 39-13-607. Observation without consent.
(a) It is an offense for a person to knowingly spy upon, observe or otherwise view an individual, when the individual is in a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior effective consent of the individual, if the viewing:
(1) Would offend or embarrass an ordinary person if the person knew the person was being viewed; and
(2) Was for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the defendant.
(b) It is not a defense to a violation of this section that the defendant was lawfully on the premises where the offense occurred.
(c) If the person being viewed is a minor, this section is violated regardless of whether the minor or the minor’s parent or guardian consented to the viewing.
(d) (1) A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
(2) A violation of this section is a Class E felony if the victim is under thirteen (13) years of age at the time the offense is committed.
(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude the state from electing to prosecute conduct in violation of this section under any other applicable section.