Bill expands voyeurism law, would add ‘attempting to view’

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A pair of lawmakers are looking to expand the state’s current law on voyeurism, saying peeping toms who are unsuccessful at their crime need to be prosecuted, too.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage, R-Kirtland, and Rep. Monica Youngblood, R-Albuquerque.

The bill adds to the current law against voyeurism to clarify and close a loophole to address people who attempt to commit voyeurism, but aren’t necessarily successful at it.

Right now, the crime of voyeurism — which includes viewing, photographing or recording someone’s intimate areas without their knowledge — is a misdemeanor unless the victim is underage. In that case, it’s a fourth degree felony.

If passed, Youngblood and Clahchischilliage’s bill would add “attempting to view” to the statute. Clahchischilliage says the idea was brought to her by the Children Youth and Families Department, because victims are frequently under 18 years old.

“[It] would hold more movement, and as a result the courts could do something more with this behavior than currently the way the statute is written,” Clahchischilliage said.

The bill has made it through House committees and the House floor twice in years past, but has died in Senate committees both times.

Arizona and Utah have laws against attempting to view in cases of voyeurism.

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