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State v. Kitches

State v. Kitches, 2021 UT App 24 (Mortensen, J.)

Criminal

The defendant and ex-wife divorced. Before the divorce was finalized, the defendant recorded the two of them having sex and ex-wife taking a shower. After the divorce, the defendant discovered that ex-wife was having sex with a new boyfriend, and he sent a series of emails and texts where he threatened to send the videos to ex-wife’s employer and others and he eventually sent the videos to ex-wife. Then one evening, the defendant walked inside ex-wife’s parents’ house without their permission to check if his children were sleeping there, and he left. The jury convicted the defendant of voyeurism, stalking, and trespassing. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The State presented evidence that ex-wife did not consent to being videotaped during the sexual encounter or while in the shower, thus supporting the voyeurism convictions. 
  • The voyeurism statute prohibits the “distribution” of the videos, and “distribution,” in this context, means delivery to anyone. Thus, the defendant sending the videos to ex-wife constituted “distribution” under the statute.
  • The State presented sufficient evidence to show that the defendant engaged in “two or more acts” directed at ex-wife to support the stalking conviction.
  • The facts presented at trial supported a reasonable inference that the defendant trespassed when he entered the parents’ home because he entered the home in the early morning hours through an unlocked door at the back of the house, and did not announce his presence to anyone in the house.

Read the full court opinion

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