Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

TAUNTON MAN FACES MASSACHUSETTS SEX CRIMES CHARGES FOR FILMING “UPSKIRT” VIDEOS WITHOUT CONSENT

You knew there were cases out there like this.

This Boston criminal lawyer spends a good deal of time online. Among my various cyber-travels, it has been impossible to ignore that the sex industry is alive and well and may well occupy the capital of cyber-space.

Of course, not all such behavior is considered “normal”. Further, not all of it is for profit. Sometimes, it is simply for what the Supreme Court once called “prurient interests”.

I have opined in the past that it has always struck me as odd that sex-for-money transactions are illegal…unless there is a camera present. At those times, we are in the creation of porn films which are generally not illegal.

Not all such creativity is legal, however. There are limits. For example, creating or simply having such material of underage children is a serious Massachusetts sex crime. Further, the person who’s image is being memorialized (for fun or for profit) is supposed to know about it!

And so we come to 51-year-old Troy Benoir of Taunton. He came to the attention of law enforcement because he was allegedly in violation of the latter. They say he was filming up the skirts of many unsuspecting women at a store in Raynham. According to the media, the criminal charge is photographing an “unsuspecting nude person”.

Mr. Benoir was charged upon security personnel a Wal-Mart being alerted by folks who claimed to have witnessed a man putting a cellphone in a shopping basket and holding it under a female shopper’s skirt.

Apparently, Benoir continued his alleged run of bad judgment when approached and he discussed the matter with the police. He explained, for example, that he would immediately delete the videos after viewing them. As such, he pretty much admitted guilt. After the interview, the police also indicated that he may have engaged in this behavior dozens of times…although no videos were found on his phone.

Eventually, of course, Benoir ended up where they all do. In court. A “not guilty” plea was entered and he was released on $2,500 bond and ordered to stay away from Wal-Mart.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Sex Cases And Confessions

The reported criminal charge of “photographing an ‘unsuspecting nude person’ ” might strike you as odd. After all, the women were not naked. At the very least, they were wearing skirts. Further, no such entitled criminal statute jumps up as one peruses the law books. However, rest assured that there are plenty of criminal statutes which fit the occasion. Some of them are, by definition, sexual crimes triggering the Sex Offender Review Board. Some of them are not.

In other words, the Commonwealth did not find itself at a loss as to what charges could be brought. The behavior was prohibited.

This very well could have been a strong defense case if Benoir had not confessed. After all, how good were the observances of the alleged eyewitnesses? That question is more than a little effected by the fact that no videos were found on the phone. After all, it would seem he did not have time to watch them before deleting them if they had just been taken in the store.

However, confess he did and criminal charges they did bring.

The lessons of today’s blog?

It is difficult to imagine that it never occurred to this gentleman was illegal (allegedly). In instances like this when a little voice goes off in your mind warning you that you are engaging in dangerous behavior…listen to it. Things like this are not only illegal, but there is likely to be a trend to make behaviors close to it more and more prosecutable.

The other lesson is a bit of advice that you have come to expect from my blogs. At the earliest possible moment…get an experienced criminal lawyer to advise and represent you!

Very likely, this defendant was embarrassed and frightened as he was caught. Sometimes, folks still jump to the conclusion that if they simply tell the truth, that the Commonwealth will smile, forgive and forget.

Well, they will…after they attain their prosecution. In this case, at least, the defendant would have had a very viable case but for his statement.

“Does that mean his case is now unwinnable?”

Never. It simply means that it will be a lot more difficult.

For the original story upon which this blog was based, please go to http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/07/taunton_man_charged_with_making_secret_videos

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