NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Just a few blocks from where TV personality Erin Andrews is in court over her 75 million dollar Peeping Tom lawsuit, Tennessee state lawmakers are considering new deterrents to similar cases happening in the future.
“A person taking photographs for sexual gratification for their own personal use, it’s just a misdemeanor,” said Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent Andrew Vallee before a House committee on Wednesday.
That’s the part of current law the agent hopes a bill will change.
Sponsor Rep. Mike Sparks of Rutherford County hoped to make it a felony to unlawfully photograph someone in violation of their privacy, but that came with a costly fiscal note, so he looked for something else as a deterrent.
“The fiscal note was six million dollars so took the felony off and gave the judge more discretion.
It means judges can order convicted defendants to register as a sex offender.
Agent Vallee said that’s something that might have happened to the convicted offender now being sued in the Erin Andrews case.
“If we had this law enacted whenever the suspect committed this crime he could have gone on the sexual offender registry and possibly let other people know what he had done and prevent this from happening to someone else,” the TBI agent told News 2.
The measure passed the committee and comes up next in the House Finance Committee.