LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) – Video voyeurism can land you in jail, but in one local case the exposed individual was already behind bars, the viewer had no idea where the lens was aimed and the county set up the camera.
Images sent to 8 On Your Side by a Pasco County Jail inmate housed in the Land O’ Lakes detention center show a clear view of a nude inmate over the shoulder of another inmate on a visitation call.
Even though the camera is mounted with a view of the shower, the sheriff’s office cites the jail clothing policy that states, “Complete uniforms must be worn while outside of (the) cell.”
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Amanda Hunter says inmates are told not to undress until after closing the shower curtain on a row of stalls that appear to be about 30 feet behind the video visitation portal.
“The housing deputies are definitely aware of the policies inmates are supposed to follow. Obviously, that’s part of their job,” Hunter said. “They are more aware of the situation now and are looking out for it now that it’s been raised to our attention.”
Hunter said William Rogers, the inmate who filed a handwritten complaint was warned but not punished for allegedly violating the dress code policy.
Rogers alleges his privacy rights were violated when he was exposed and he claims several requests for an investigation have been ignored by the sheriff’s office.
“We looked into his claims,” Hunter said. “We didn’t ignore it.”
As far as setting up the visitation shot with the shower in the background, Hunter said the layout of the jail limits where the camera can be placed.
“We cannot move the camera anywhere else in the housing unit that would be a better location,” Hunter said. “So, because of that, we’re currently exploring situations with the provider of the video conferencing system.”
Hunter said resuming in-person visitation stopped after the pandemic hit and will resume at some point.
Video visitation costs inmates 50 cents a minute through a system run by Homewav. That company has not responded to requests for comment.