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Lawyer: Couple Videotaped Having Sex Didn’t Know Neighbors Were Watching

July 19, 1991

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ A couple videotaped having sex by a neighbor shooting through the blinds shouldn’t face criminal charges because they didn’t know anyone was watching, their attorney said Friday.

″It’s absolutely an invasion of their privacy,″ said attorney Nicholas Matassini. ″They were doing things normal consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home. To think someone was going to videotape them from outside they never could have imagined.″

Car salesman Alfred Stephens, 36, and Janet Paddock, 32, were arrested Tuesday night after police saw the video made through the blinds of Stephens’ ground-floor condominium. Neighbors said children in a pool about 10 feet away could see them having sex in the bathroom through open blinds.

The two were charged with lewd and lascivious conduct in front of a child under 12, a second-degree felony carrying maximum penalties of up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. They were released from jail Wednesday on $15,000 bail each.

Matassini doesn’t think they committed a crime.

″Doing something in the presence of another is a requirement, and as far as I know these two had no knowledge anyone was out there looking at them,″ he said.

Neighbors claimed they knew people were out at the pool and put on a show.

Matassini said he expects to meet with prosecutors early next week ″and hopefully get them not to file formal charges.″

Meanwhile, Stephens has been asked to move out of the complex where he’s been living for three weeks.

″I requested them to vacate the unit immediately,″ Rich Jager, a spokesman for Primary Realty & Management, said Friday. ″Under the lease they cannot conduct illegal activity or breach the quiet enjoyment of the community.″

Matassini said Stephens is ″embarrassed and humiliated″ and intends to move just as soon as he finds another place.

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