Upskirt videos allegedly taken by local man are ‘protected by First Amendment,’ attorney argues

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Trevor James Thompson. Courtesy

An Oklahoma man accused of taking dozens of gigabytes worth of illegal upskirt pictures and videos of unsuspecting women is arguing in a court filing that the images are protected by the First Amendment.

Trevor James Thompson, 32, was charged late last year in two counties with the alleged crimes — he faces two counts of “peeping tom” in Rogers County and 14 similar counts in Tulsa County.

In late February, Thompson’s attorneys argued in a series of filings that the two “peeping tom” charges against him in Rogers County should be dismissed because, in part, that “freedom of thought” is protected by the First Amendment.

Thompson’s attorneys state in the motion that the Rogers County case against their client surrounds “two videos allegedly taken” of a female coworker who was in Thompson’s office at ParFab Field Services in Inola.

Thompson’s attorneys argue the alleged victim had “no expectation of privacy” because her “buttocks was visible to the public because of the very short skirt (she) was wearing, and because (she) had ‘bent over’ in a manner that her ‘private area’ was clearly visible to the public.”

In the motion, Thompson’s attorneys cite two things — a Supreme Court case against an Oklahoma City man named Kevin Durant (no relation to the NBA player) who allegedly used a camera hidden in his backpack to take upskirt images of women, and George Orwell’s literary classic “1984.”

In the Durant case, an appellate court ruled in favor of the defendant, reversing his 2005 conviction, after stating his alleged victim — a female student at Oklahoma City Community College — had no expectation of privacy. The woman, the appeals court stated, was in public at the time the images were taken, and that the law didn’t cover clandestine photos “of a person in a public place.”

As for Orwell, in stating that “freedom of thought is protected by the First Amendment,” Thompson’s attorneys cite the first chapter of “1984,” which states:

“The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed — would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper — the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.”

Thompson’s attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Thompson was first charged in 2015 in Tulsa County with indecent exposure for allegedly following a woman at Woodland Hills Mall and touching himself. He denied those allegations, but has been ordered by the court to never return to the mall. That case remains pending.

Last October, Thompson was charged with allegedly taking the videos of his coworker in Rogers County. He eventually posted bail and left the state for treatment. During the investigation into those videos, investigators said they found more videos of women from Woodland Hills Mall. This time, prosecutors allege, Thompson was sliding a device under the walls of changing rooms in order to obtain the footage.

On Thompson’s work computer, officials said they found 76 gigabytes of upskirt images and video from “dressing rooms, malls, and public access areas.”

The Rogers County District Attorney’s Office said it could not comment on a pending case. Investigators have previously said they believe all of Thompson’s alleged victims have been identified.

However, in a court document, Rogers County DA Matt Ballard argued against dismissing the case. Ballard’s “motion to strike the defendant’s motion to dismiss,” he stated that Thompson also had a misdemeanor “outraging public decency” case in Rogers County that had been dismissed but could “potentially” be refiled. Thompson, Ballard said, also has a “pending federal indictment” for the attempted production of child pornography and is being detained without a bond after a contested hearing.”

“It appears that the defendant believes his widespread, predatory behavior is Constitutionally protected and fully intends to continue,” Ballard wrote in the motion. “This is not simply troubling, but alarming.

“The defendant seeks to have this Court rule that the Founding Fathers fought a revolution to ensure the ability of sexual predators to clandestinely film the private parts of women and children at mall dressing rooms, football games, track meets, doctor’s offices, state fairs, and the like.”

Thompson’s attorneys have not filed a motion to dismiss the case in Tulsa County, according to court records. That case is set for a preliminary hearing on March 19, records show.

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Dylan Goforth

Editor in Chief/Staff Writer

Dylan is a news junkie and QuikTrip addict. He spends too much time on Twitter, but has launched what will be a failed attempt to cut back in 2018. Contact: dylan@readfrontier.com or 918-931-9405.
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