In a recent opinion from a Virginia court involving unlawful filming during sexual activity, the defendant’s request for the court to reconsider his guilty verdict was denied. The defendant was found guilty of one count of unlawful creation of images. He appealed based on insufficient evidence showing he was guilty, countering that his girlfriend at the time was voluntarily nude and exposed, therefore forfeiting her right to privacy. The appellate court denied the appeal because it found that the defendant’s girlfriend could, in fact, reasonably expect privacy from being recorded during sexual activity.
The Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant and his girlfriend were in a relationship between 2017 and the end of 2019. Throughout the relationship, the defendant often recorded himself and his girlfriend while they were having sex. The videos took place in the defendant’s bedroom and focused specifically on his girlfriend’s body. At trial, the defendant’s girlfriend testified that she did not know about the recordings and that she had not consented to being recorded. Part of her evidence at trial included a video of a Skype recording in which she and the defendant engaged in sexual conversations and activity. The defendant’s girlfriend repeatedly expressed concern that the conversation was being recorded. Even though the appellant was, in fact, recording the conversation at the time, he lied and told her he was not.