An Independence County man is accused in court of video voyeurism involving teenagers.
Jeffery Duane Williams, 67, is facing the charge after a female teenager reported the act to the Independence County Sheriff’s Department on March 1, 2020. At that time, the sheriff’s department started an investigation into the matter.
Court information says the alleged victim told authorities she had known the suspect for four years, as Williams was her school bus driver for Batesville Schools. Apparently, the two developed a friendship over the four-year period, according to the legal filing, and that she and her siblings had spent time at the Williams home.
Apparently, Williams told the juvenile that he and his wife would be gone for the weekend, and she and her friends could come to the Williams home and spend the weekend on the stipulation they had to leave before Williams returned.
Court records note the victim reported to authorities that she and her friends found a hidden trail camera that had been set to capture video. The memory card from the camera was transferred to deputies who then requested and received a search warrant for the residence.
Evidence was gathered that included video of the suspect setting up and testing the camera, as well as video of the juveniles on Feb. 29, according to the circuit court filing.
On March 3, Sgt. Zach Rawlings with the sheriff’s department’s investigative unit interviewed Williams, who, according to the court info, confessed to the incident, admitting it was a “bad mistake,” and noting it was his “dark side.”
Williams also told Rawlings that he was glad he got caught and praised the officer for “helping him address this mistake,” the affidavit of probable cause for arrest noted.
When reached for comment, Batesville Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Hester told White River Now that Williams is not driving a bus for the Batesville School District and will not until his case has gone through the court system, or has otherwise been adjudicated.
Williams (pictured below in his booking photo) has been charged with one count of video voyeurism, a Class D felony. It is the unlawful use of a camera, videotape, or other image recording device for the purpose of secretly observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping another person who is present in a residence, place of business, school or other structure, if the other person is in a private area, out of public view; has a reasonable expectation of privacy; and has not consented to the observation.
A Class D felony is punishable by imprisonment of up to six years in the Arkansas Department of Correction and a fine of up to $10,000, or both a fine and imprisonment.
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