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Senate File 2157 relates to the crime of invasion of privacy in Iowa. Current law states to be guilty of invasion of privacy, a person must knowingly view, photograph or film another person for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, if the other person does not consent or cannot consent to be viewed, photographed or filmed, is in a state of full or partial nudity and the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy while in a state of full or partial nudity.

This bill would eliminate the requirement that the person act for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person.

It’s a bill that came from an actual victim. Sen. Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton) said she wasn’t sure if the perpetrator was even convicted of trespassing.

Sen. Annette Sweeney (R-Alden) asked for more details on the bill. Sinclair said it was a follow-up to a bill from three years ago.

Lisa Davis-Cook of the Iowa Association for Justice expressed concern with the bill.
“As you can imagine, my criminal defense attorneys have looked at this and have some concerns about some of the broad-reaching implications,” she said. “They, of course, can come up with some situations where someone gets charged under this who really didn’t. If my daughter is in her room and one of her brother’s friends looks in the window to see if he’s home and she doesn’t have a shirt on, or maybe one of her friends is in the house and doesn’t have her shirt on, that friend’s parents get really mad and want that kid charged with something.

“Their concern is that could get charged. This is a charge that puts them on the sex offender registry. That’s what happens when you take out some of the intent language. The effect it has on juveniles — we know now with phones and all that juveniles are doing, I thank God there weren’t phones with cameras when I was a kid. My biggest concern is the sex offender registry part of this. Depending on how they’re charged, it could be a lifetime.”

Daniel Zeno of the ACLU cited similar concerns.

“Specifically having an offense and taking out the requirement that there be for the purpose of arousal or sexual gratification. Now it is a non-sexual offense that can put you on the sex offender registry,” he said. “There’s a purpose for the sex offender registry, it is for people who committed sex offenses. And we’re making this a non-sex offense that will still go on the sex offender registry. That’s why we’re registered opposed.”

Sen. Kevin Kinney (D-Oxford) said he understood the concerns, but added that for law enforcement to try to prove someone is showing sexual gratification, many times that is impossible. Kinney is a retired deputy sheriff.

All three senators agreed to move the bill forward, if necessary with an amendment.

Author: Jacob Hall