State Pursues Lesser Charges Against Couple Videotaped Having Sex
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ A couple who were videotaped having sex in their condominium were charged today with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, prosecutors disclosed.
Alfred Stephens, 36, and Janet Paddock, 32, won’t be prosecuted on an original charge of lewd and lascivious conduct in front of a child, a felony that carried a maximum 15-year prison term.
The three disorderly conduct charges filed against the couple are second- degree misdemeanors with maximum sentences of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
According to an information filed by the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office, the charges accuse the couple of swimming partially nude in the condominium’s swimming pool July 10, having sex in the condo Jacuzzi July 16, and on the next night entering the ladies restroom together at a bar and locking the door ″with the intent of engaging in sex therein.″
Ms. Paddock emerged from the restroom ″in a state of partial undress,″ the information stated.
The couple was arrested July 16 after police saw the video a neighbor shot through the blinds of Stephens’ ground-floor condo. The tape showed the couple having sex near their bathroom window, authorities said.
The couple said their privacy was invaded. Neighbors, however, said the two could be seen by children at the pool outside, with one 8-year-old quoted as saying, ″Mommy, Mommy, they’re having pony rides.″
Sheriff’s deputies were summoned to the scene about an hour and a half after the tape was made when neighbors said they saw the couple having sex again, this time in the hot tub.
Authorities said Stephens got out of the tub and pulled his shorts on as detectives arrived to make the arrest.
Neither the couple nor their attorney, Nicholas Matassini, could immediately be reached for comment on today’s decision. Meantime, the neighbor who shot the two-minute videotape, Lee Adler, said he has been swamped with cash offers for the tape from such television programs as ″A Current Affair,″ and ″The Oprah Winfrey Show.″
The tape is locked in evidence and Circuit Judge Walter R. Heinrich has ordered it to remain there until the case is resolved.