The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Sheriff's Employee Caught Taking Upskirt Photos at Target

She thought it was strange that the man was following her. Both the lady and her husband noticed that Jose Alderete had been following them a little closely, but were not sure why. Finally, she decided to take an odd path and see if he continued to creep. He did.

Then she noticed him stooping behind her with his cellphone attached to his shoe, reports The Orange County Register.

The woman’s husband chased Alderete to the parking lot and stopped him from deleting the images off of his phone. When the police arrived, they made an even more surprising discovery: Alderete worked for the Sheriff’s department. Prior to being put on paid administrative leave, he handled supplies for inmates in county jails. He was not a sworn officer.

After perusing the phone, and studying the images intently, the officers realized that though there were multiple victims depicted, it would be difficult to identify them through the photos. After all, you can’t exactly post upskirt photos on the evening news for identification.

In California, voyeurism photography and videography, as well as peeping tom offenses, are all governed by the Disorderly Conduct Statute - Penal Code 647. Specifically, the statute disallows:

  • Peeping with the intent to invade the victim’s privacy when that person is in a place with a reasonable expectation of privacy (such as a changing room.)
  • Recordings or photos under or through the clothing of another, or of a person, without consent, for the purpose of arousing the photographer or invading the privacy of the victim
  • Recordings or photos of someone in a state of partial or full undress for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments of, that person when that person is in a place with a reasonable expectation of privacy

The statute makes the offenses a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months in jail, plus fines. Repeat offenders face up to a year in jail, plus fines.

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