Detectives used surveillance video and Facebook during an investigation into an alleged peeping Tom incident over the summer at the South Towne Mall in Sandy, Utah. Police claim that a man sat in a stall in a changing room and reached under the dressing room divider holding a cellphone. A woman says that she was in the adjacent space and saw the iPhone come under the divider into the dressing space that she was occupying with her 13-year-old daughter on two separate occasions.
The woman claims that she tried to confront a man in the adjacent stall about the cellphone allegations, but he left the store—disappearing into the parking lot. Authorities learned of the allegations and consulted surveillance videos at the mall. Police released a video, claiming that a person in the surveillance tape was under suspicion of attempted voyeurism at the mall. That led to calls identifying more than one potential suspect, according to the Deseret News.
Investigators pored over the list of names and apparently decided to pursue a 25-year-old man. Law enforcement looked at Facebook profiles and claim that an image linked to the 25-year-old was posted on Facebook showing the man with a cellphone. Authorities have now charged the man with attempted voyeurism.
Authorities say that the mother identified the man through the use of some kind of photographic lineup. Details concerning how the photo-lineup was conducted are not outlined in the media.
The National Institute of Justice says that law enforcement frequently resorts to photo-lineups during a criminal investigation. The agency, which is part of the Department of Justice, notes that misidentifications by eyewitnesses to an event have led to a large number of wrongful convictions in this country. Identifications made through live or photographic procedures should be scrutinized (along with the entire set of alleged facts and procedures involved in a case) to help protect rights in our justice system.
Source: Deseret News, “Alleged South Towne mall peeping Tom charged,” Pat Reavy, Oct. 24, 2013