Voyeurism bill filed in state Senate - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Voyeurism bill filed in state Senate

According to state Senate bill no. 2022, privacy invasion could be a felony. By Bailey Maloney According to state Senate bill no. 2022, privacy invasion could be a felony. By Bailey Maloney
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Mississippi has a new bill under consideration in the upcoming legislative session. State Sen. Joey Fillingane filed the bill in January to increase punishment for invasion of privacy from a misdemeanor to a felony.

According to Fillingane, this motion was a reaction to an investigation of several violations of privacy by a former University of Southern Mississippi employee Quandom Benn in June 2014.

Benn was arrested and charged in November for seven misdemeanor counts of stalking and seven counts of disturbing the peace.

A conversation with one of Benn's victims prompted Fillingane to support an update to Mississippi's current voyeurism law.

"It was a very negative experience at my job when I found out a fellow employee that I trusted was videotaping me inappropriately," said Cabrini Marie Smith, Benn's victim.

Fillingane said he was shocked to hear that with the current privacy laws the university and law enforcement were unable to enact stronger punishment.

"I was dumbfounded," Fillingane said. "... assuming all those facts were true, that there was only a misdemeanor crime that had occurred."

If the law passes a conviction could result in a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If the victim is a child under the age of 16 the maximum penalty would increase to 10 years in prison.

“Even though we are early in the session, so far I have heard nothing but positive things about the bill,” Fillingane said.

According to Fillingane, the case has been turned over to the Forrest County Justice Court.

Copyright 2015 WDAM. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Hattiesburg Police PAL program aims to encourage children

    Hattiesburg Police PAL program aims to encourage children

    Tuesday, December 12 2017 10:55 PM EST2017-12-13 03:55:02 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    It was a gang related crime spree that spiraled out of control in Hattiesburg Monday. Now the councilman from that ward is speaking out. Hattiesburg's Ward 5 Councilman Nicholas Brown gave his thoughts about the acts of violence. While he hopes his words help curb the violence, WDAM goes inside the Hattiesburg Police Athletic League, to learn more about the program aimed at preventing future teens from going down a violent path. Councilman Nicholas Brown said, "I want to call ou...

    More >>

    It was a gang related crime spree that spiraled out of control in Hattiesburg Monday. Now the councilman from that ward is speaking out. Hattiesburg's Ward 5 Councilman Nicholas Brown gave his thoughts about the acts of violence. While he hopes his words help curb the violence, WDAM goes inside the Hattiesburg Police Athletic League, to learn more about the program aimed at preventing future teens from going down a violent path. Councilman Nicholas Brown said, "I want to call ou...

    More >>
  • Columbia businesses team up to decorate downtown for Christmas

    Columbia businesses team up to decorate downtown for Christmas

    Tuesday, December 12 2017 9:10 PM EST2017-12-13 02:10:40 GMT
    Columbia is shining a little brighter tonight thanks to a generous donation. It's starting to look a lot like Christmas in Columbia thanks to two businessman. One of those men, Nick Ingram, said it was all about Columbia. "Over the last 18 months or so, we've been working really hard to create opportunities for business owners to grow and to locate their businesses in downtown Columbia," Ingram said. One of the first things they did was a car show that was s...More >>
    Columbia is shining a little brighter tonight thanks to a generous donation. It's starting to look a lot like Christmas in Columbia thanks to two businessman. One of those men, Nick Ingram, said it was all about Columbia. "Over the last 18 months or so, we've been working really hard to create opportunities for business owners to grow and to locate their businesses in downtown Columbia," Ingram said. One of the first things they did was a car show that was s...More >>
  • 9th suspect arrested in gang-related triple shooting in Hattiesburg, charges added

    9th suspect arrested in gang-related triple shooting in Hattiesburg, charges added

Powered by Frankly