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Voyeurism bill stalls in AL house, victims urge you to take action

(image: WPMI) Voyeurism bill stalls in AL house, victims urge you to take action

Peeping Tom victims say laws in Alabama don't go far enough to protect them and they're demanding change. Right now, Alabama lawmakers are considering strengthening voyeurism laws, but a bill that could do that is stalling in the House.

"When a child comes out and tells your daughter is being videotaped using the restroom, I'd never even considered that as something to worry about," said Robyn Glass.

Her 11-year-old daughter was taped while in a bathroom stall at San Miguel restaurant in 2015 by Patrick Herron.

"He did admit that he was there to get video for his personal gratification. so that makes your stomach turn as a mother of an 11-year-old child at the time, what his intentions were with that video," said Glass. "It's very disturbing."

Because this was his first time charged with criminal surveillance, Herron was just charged with a misdemeanor. He served less than a year in jail and is not considered a sex offender.

"Should someone like this be considered a sex offender?" asked NBC 15's Andrea Ramey.

"I think so," replied Derrick Williams.

Williams prosecuted Herron and was disturbed by how lenient the law is. Williams, who is now running for Mobile County district judge, says these kind of offenders need to face harsher penalties.

"I do think it's a precursor. I do think it will lead to more aggravated behavior," said Williams. "Who's to say next time instead of just videoing, he may put the camera down and act upon that impulse, and that's scary."

Senate Bill 57 would make video voyeurism a class C felony, but right now, it's sitting in an Alabama House committee, waiting for lawmakers. Williams and Glass hope by spreading this story, it prompts you to take action.

"Those laws need to be changed," said Glass.

"We need everyone to go out and call their local representatives and get them to put it on the special calendar for next week," said Williams.

If you're not sure who represents you and who to call in the Alabama Legislature, click here to find out.

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