Penalties would increase for unlawful intrusion

A bill that would increase penalties for unlawful intrusion advanced from general file Feb. 15.

Under LB61, introduced by Elk Creek Sen. Lavon Heidemann, the penalty for viewing a person in a state of undress without their knowledge in a place of solitude or seclusion would increase from a Class III to a Class I misdemeanor. Current law defines a place of solitude or seclusion as one in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a restroom, tanning booth, locker room or dressing room.

The bill also would increase to a Class IV felony the penalty for making a video or electronic recording of an unlawful intrusion. Distributing such a recording would be a Class III felony.

Heidemann said he introduced LB61 after hearing from a victim who unknowingly was recorded while undressing and later saw the video posted on the Internet.

The crime had a severe impact on the victim, he said, but the charge against the perpetrator was minor. Recording someone undressing is not only a sexual offense, Heidemann said, but also a violation of human rights. The punishment should fit the crime, he added.

The Judiciary Committee introduced an amendment to the bill that revised the definition of intrude to mean the viewing or recording of another person in a state of undress either by video or other electronic means without the person’s consent.

The amendment also places a three-year statute of limitations on the crime when the victim reaches the age of 21 or when the victim or law enforcement receives constructive notice of either the existence of a video or the distribution of images or video.

The committee amendment was adopted on a 38-0 vote.

Heidemann proposed an amendment to LB61 that would require a defendant over the age of 19, whose victim was under the age of 18, to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Heidemann said the amendment was introduced at the request of the state patrol to remain compliant with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

Heidemann’s amendment was adopted 38-0 and the bill advanced from general file on a 40-0 vote.

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