Filming a person performing a private act – Criminal law

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A stalker in the UK who hid in a woman’s attic and quietly came out at night to film her sleeping partially naked has been arrested.

Mauricio Damian-Guerrero had been stalking his victim for days after meeting her on the internet content subscription service, OnlyFans.

According to local authorities, the 20-year-old broke into the woman’s New Hampshire home after allegedly making copies of the 24-year-old victim’s keys and also purchased a Bluetooth tracking device that he intended to attach to his car.

At the woman’s home, he hid in the attic, where he brought food, including graham crackers and hash browns, as well as a cup to urinate in.

Nonetheless, on February 9, 2022, officers from the Somersworth Police Department were dispatched to the home after tenants reported strange noises coming from the property’s attic.

Once there, police learned that a woman who lived there had woken up early to find someone standing in the doorway.

Officers searched the attic and, although they strangely heard footsteps, they found no one.

However, upon leaving the property, police noticed a man standing on the roof of the house.

He was arrested at the site and later identified as Mauricio Damian-Guerrero from Bensalem, Pennsylvania, nearly 350 miles away.

It was learned he was staying at an AirBnb near the woman’s home, before stalking her for several days after meeting her on OnlyFans.

Police discover video on Stalkers phone showing woman lying partially naked on her bed

As police conducted their investigations, they then dug up private videos on Mr Damian-Guerrero’s phone that he had recorded.

In a video, taken shortly after 3am on the evening of the man’s arrest, the victim was filmed lying partially naked on his bed.

In another video, filmed the day before, footage reportedly showed the woman’s bedroom, another bedroom in the house and a hallway.

Officers also discovered a pair of airpods belonging to the man, as well as a Bluetooth tracking device wrapped in blue tape.

The victim, who told police she slept a lot, said she often slept with her three-year-old child.

She also told investigators that prior to the incident, she noticed that her keys had gone missing and then strangely reappeared.

Police suspect the stalker first entered the house using a crowbar and had the woman’s keys duplicated before returning them to the property, as it is alleged that the man’s fingerprints were found on a window of the house.

Indeed, the day after the incident, a search warrant was executed on a truck that Mr. Damian-Guerrero was driving the night of his arrest.

This led police to discover a crowbar, photos of the woman and a pair of her underwear.

A key to the woman’s house was also reportedly found on the truck’s key fob.

Questioned by the police, Mr Damian-Guerrero admitted to having filmed the woman while she slept.

He also admitted to breaking into her home, saying he had entered the property without permission to retrieve a television and a fireplace he had bought for her.

Mr. Damian-Guerrero was released on bail against the wishes of prosecutors.

“He was released on fairly strict bail conditions,” Strafford County Assistant District Attorney Emily Garod said.

“But it is an ongoing concern for us, the safety of the victim while this case is ongoing, which is why we have requested that he be held pending trial.”

Mr Damian-Guerrero is required to wear a GPS tracking bracelet, has been ordered not to enter the state of New Hampshire and must not have contact with the victim.

It is a criminal offense to film or film another person engaging in a private act without their consent.

If you are in New South Wales, the law on this is described in Section 91K of the Crimes Act 1900which provides that it is an offense when a person, for the purpose of obtaining or enabling another person to obtain, sexual arousal or sexual gratification, films another person engaging in an act private:

  1. without the consent of the person being filmed to be filmed for the purpose of sexual gratification, and
  2. knowing that the person being filmed does not consent to being filmed for the purpose of sexual gratification, and
  3. the person being filmed was in such circumstances that they would normally expect to be private while engaging in a private act.

Such an offense carries a maximum penalty of an $11,000 fine or two years in prison, or both.

In summary, to prove the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court that:

  1. The person filmed another person,
  2. The person filmed was engaged in a private act (e.g. stripping naked, engaging in sexual behavior)
  3. Filming was for sexual arousal or sexual gratification,
  4. The person had not consented to undertake the filming for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification,
  5. The person knew that he did not have the consent to undertake the filming, and
  6. When the filming occurred in circumstances where the person being filmed would normally expect privacy.

Defenses to the charge of filming a person engaging in a private act include that the person filmed consented to filming for the purpose of sexual gratification, mistaken identity (in which the accused was incorrectly identified), when there is insufficient evidence to prove that the accused performed the filming for sexual gratification.