Tennessee judges OK filming women’s privates in public

Three male Tennessee judges threw out the conviction of a man who stalked women and photographed their private parts for sexual gratification last month.

Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judges D. Kelly Thomas, James Curwood Witt Jr. and Thomas Woodall declared open season on women in Tennessee. They ruled that women should have no expectation of privacy in the digital age.

David Eric Lambert, 40, was convicted of unlawful photography and sexual battery, after he took ‘close-up’ images of three women’s ‘private areas’ in stores around Kingsport in 2016. He was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

He had prior misdemeanor convictions for exposing himself and committing sexual acts in public.

The 2nd Judicial District Public Defender’s office challenged the convictions on the grounds that Lambert didn’t think he was doing anything wrong because it was public.

The three appeals court judges agreed, giving Lambert the green light to continue his stalking and sexual victimization of women. They ruled it’s lawful to film fully clothed women without their consent if they’re in public.

“It is simply not reasonable to expect that our fully-clothed images will remain totally private,” Judge Thomas wrote in his opinion.

“Exposure to the capture of our images by cameras has become, perhaps unfortunately, a reality of daily life in our digital age.”

Could this case set a precedent for other jurisdictions around the country? The ruling gives men the privilege and power to stalk, dominate and invade the personal space of women for the purpose of photographing their clothed sexual organs.

Is this case about privacy, or is it about the right of women to move about safely and freely, wherever they choose to go without male ‘photographers’ zeroing in on their private parts?

The men who perpetrate these acts are often violent, abusive, deviant and deranged, but the judges were more concerned about Lambert’s rights than those of the female victims.

Kingsport Police detective Martin Taylor testified that he was receiving calls from numerous women in March 2016, complaining of a man with a ‘creepy grin’ and a cell phone who was following them around while shopping at stores such as Ross, Hobby Lobby and Walmart.

According to the evidence, he filmed approximately 20 videos of women at six stores, taking photographs of their buttocks. Taylor could only retrieve three videos so the defendant was only charged in three of the cases.

He admitted that he took the images for sexual gratification and ‘crossed moral boundaries,’ but insisted he didn’t think he was committing a crime.

One of the women said he grabbed her at a Dollar Tree store, resulting in a conviction for sexual battery which remains upheld.

Lambert was convicted of unlawful photography for the Dollar Tree and Walmart incidents. Sullivan County Criminal Court Judge James F. Goodwin Jr. had sentenced Lambert to nearly four years in prison.

Lambert’s case now returns to the judge for resentencing, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported Sunday.