Selected State Statutes: Vermont

Statutes: Vermont

View all

2605. Voyeurism

(a) As used in this section:

(1) “Bona fide private investigator or bona fide security guard” means an individual lawfully providing services, whether licensed or unlicensed, pursuant to 26 V.S.A. §§ 3151 and 3151a.

(2) “Female breast” means any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.

(3) “Circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy” means circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that his or her intimate areas would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether that person is in a public or private area. This definition includes circumstances in which a person knowingly disrobes in front of another, but does not expect nor give consent for the other person to photograph, film, or record his or her intimate areas.

(4) “Intimate areas” means the naked or undergarment-clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast of a person.

(5) “Place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy” means:

(A) a place in which a reasonable person would believe that he or she could disrobe in privacy, without his or her undressing being viewed by another; or

(B) a place in which a reasonable person would expect to be safe from unwanted intrusion or surveillance.

(6) “Sexual conduct” shall have the same meaning as in section 2821 of this title.

(7) “Surveillance” means secret observation of the activities of another person for the purpose of spying upon and invading the privacy of the person.

(8) “View” means the intentional looking upon another person for more than a brief period of time, in other than a casual or cursory manner, with the unaided eye or a device designed or intended to improve visual acuity.

(b) No person shall intentionally view, photograph, film, or record in any format:

(1) the intimate areas of another person without that person's knowledge and consent while the person being viewed, photographed, filmed, or recorded is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy; or

(2) the intimate areas of another person without that person's knowledge and consent and under circumstances in which the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

(c) No person shall display or disclose to a third party any image recorded in violation of subsection (b), (d), or (e) of this section.

(d) No person shall intentionally conduct surveillance or intentionally photograph, film, or record in any format a person without that person's knowledge and consent while the person being surveilled, photographed, filmed, or recorded is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy within a home or residence. Bona fide private investigators and bona fide security guards engaged in otherwise lawful activities within the scope of their employment are exempt from this subsection.

(e) No person shall intentionally photograph, film, or record in any format a person without that person's knowledge and consent while that person is in a place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and that person is engaged in sexual conduct.

(f) This section shall apply 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.

(g) This section shall not apply to:

(1) a law enforcement officer conducting official law enforcement activities in accordance with state and federal law; or

(2) official activities of the Department of Corrections, a law enforcement agency, the Agency of Human Services, or a court for security purposes or during the investigation of alleged misconduct by a person in the custody of the Department of Corrections, a law enforcement agency, the Agency of Human Services, or a court.

(h) This section is not intended to infringe upon the freedom of the press to gather and disseminate news as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

(i) It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection (b) of this section that the defendant was a bona fide private investigator or bona fide security guard conducting surveillance in the ordinary course of business, and the violation was unintentional and incidental to otherwise legal surveillance. However, an unintentional and incidental violation of subsection (b) of this section shall not be a defense to a violation of subsection (c).

(j) For a first offense, a person who violates subsection (b), (d), or (e) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both. For a second or subsequent offense, a person who violates subsection (b), (d), or (e) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both. A person who violates subsection (c) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.