Elements of misdemeanor voyeurism
• A person:
(1) who knowingly or intentionally:
(A) peeps; or
(B) goes upon the land of another with the intent to peep;
into an occupied dwelling of another person; or
(2) who knowingly or intentionally peeps into an area where an occupant of the area reasonably can be expected to disrobe, including:
(C) showers; and
(D) dressing rooms;
without the consent of the other person, commits voyeurism, a Class B misdemeanor.
Elements of felony voyeurism
• [Voyeurism] is a Level 6 felony if:
(1) it is knowingly or intentionally committed by means of a camera; or
(2) the person who commits the offense has a prior unrelated conviction:
(A) under this section; or
(B) in another jurisdiction, including a military court, for an offense that is substantially similar to an offense described in this section.
Interpretation of “peep into”
• First, [the defendant] asserts that a logical reading of the voyeurism statute makes clear that he could not have peeped “into” a room where he was physically present. But [the defendant's] narrow interpretation of the word “into” would mean that a conviction for voyeurism by the use of a video camera could only stand if the video camera were set up at the doorway to a room or outside of the room looking in. That could not have been the Legislature's intent. The evidence shows that [the defendant] set up the video camera inside the bedroom to record his sexual encounter with [the victim] without [the victim's] knowledge or consent. Whether [the defendant] was physically present in the room is irrelevant under the plain meaning of the statute.
Definition and interpretations of “dwelling”
• “Dwelling” means a building, structure, or other enclosed space, permanent or temporary, movable or fixed, that is a person's home or place of lodging.
• “The operative word defining ‘dwelling’ is a ‘home’—a settled residence house for a family and their personal possessions.”
• In Indiana, a structure may be a dwelling even though the occupant is in the process of moving out, Byers v. State, 521 N.E.2d 318, 319 (Ind. 1988), if the occupant still has a right to occupy the house and personal items still remain. Yawn v. State, 539 N.E.2d 473, 474 (Ind. 1989), overruled on other grounds by Wright v. State, 658 N.E.2d 563, 570 (Ind. 1995).
See Hayden v. State, 19 N.E.3d 831, 837 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), reh'g denied, trans. denied(quoting Brown v. State, 580 N.E.2d 329, 330 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991))(alterations in the original)(“A structure may be a dwelling when the occupants are moving out of the house but ‘still retain access . . . the utilities [are] still functioning, and . . . they [have] not yet removed all of their personal belongings or food' such that 'they intended to return to the premises and exercise dominion over it.’”)
• “The term ‘dwelling’ has been legislatively enlarged to afford protection to interests in the sanctity and security of habitation which, once established, do not necessarily fail because of the lack of use for purposes of sleep.”
Definition of “disrobe”
• We note that the term “disrobe” is not defined in the relevant statute, nor has our research revealed any other relevant statutory definition of this term. We therefore assign the word “disrobe” its plain and ordinary meaning. And to determine the plain and ordinary meaning of words, we may consult English language dictionaries. According to Merriam–Webster's Online Dictionary, “disrobe” is defined as “to take off one's clothing” and “to strip of clothing or covering.”
Interpretation of areas where occupants can reasonably be expected to disrobe
• A bedroom qualifies as an area where an occupant can reasonably be expected to disrobe.
• [The defendant] next claims that the areas into which he peeped, i.e., urinals in restrooms, are not areas where occupants thereof can reasonably be expected to disrobe. In so doing, he argues that men do not “disrobe” in order to use urinals. . . . [The defendant] claims that the typical activity by men using urinals is not disrobing because the term “disrobe” does not include “nudging or pulling a body part through the clothing.” In other words, [the defendant] argues that men using urinals do not take off or strip themselves of clothing and that therefore, he did not peep into an area where the occupants of the area could reasonably be expected to disrobe. We think [the defendant's] argument misses the point. The question is not whether the men in the restrooms where [the defendant] was peeping did disrobe; the question is whether [the defendant] peeped into an area where the occupants of the area reasonably can be expected to disrobe. The governing statute explicitly lists four areas as those where the occupants thereof reasonably can be expected to disrobe: restrooms, baths, showers, and dressing rooms. Here, [the defendant] peeped into a shower and a public restroom. This fits within the statutory definitions of places where the occupants of the area reasonably can be expected to disrobe, whether or not they actually did.