Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Victims of Voyeurism Speak Out

OREM, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - "I opened the window and I looked out and could literally see the drone hovering about 10-15 feet outside the window."

Jon Henson and his wife Rachel were stunned after they learned they were being spied on, back in December 2016.

"That is terrifying … it was kind of a reality check for me," said Rachel.

As a drone enthusiast himself, Jon's first instinct was to track down the drone-- which he did. Jenson tells ABC4 Utah that he got into his car and chased the high-flying object to a church parking lot down the street from his home.

"Once I grabbed the drone and saw that it had black tape around the LEDs, I knew for sure what he {the suspect} was doing with it." 

The husband and his wife said they found disturbing video of other unsuspected victims on the drone's camera-- something that alarmed Rachel.

"That's terrifying. It was kind of a reality check for me."

"To think that somebody was using this awesome piece of equipment for something such as this, it was a huge violation of my privacy. Not only as a citizen but as a woman. How do I know if he hadn't gotten other pictures of me before?"

Also caught on that same drone were images of the suspect, Aaron Dennis Foote. Foote and his girlfriend, Terisha Lee Norviel, were charged and arrested on Voyeurism charges last month.

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Mother of six (6) Terisha Lee Norviel, 34, was arrested last month with her boyfriend in Utah after the high-tech drone they allegedly used to spy on neighbors was found.

Aaron Foote of Orem, accused of flying his drone around and taking video of people in their homes.

OREM — A couple have been charged with using a drone to peep inside the windows of Orem residents.

In December, Orem police announced they had recovered a drone that was being used for voyeurism. Investigators found "several videos of looking into people's bathrooms and people's bedrooms" after examining the material stored on the drone, according to police.

The drone was turned over to officers by a man who heard the drone outside his window on Dec. 3 and followed it until it landed in a parking lot. When no one came to retrieve it, the man took the drone home.

"The citizen who located the drone was familiar with drones and had a similar one himself," according to a search warrant unsealed Tuesday in 4th District Court. "There (were) multiple videos recording individuals inside their residences through windows. Some of the recordings were multiple stories high in apartment complexes."

Included in some of the videos were images of the drone operator himself and a vehicle, police say. "Officers were able to identify the truck in the videos and able to locate the registered owner, Aaron Foote," the warrant states.

At the the time the warrant was served, investigators were looking at whether there were any violations for violating federal air space, according to the warrant. As of Tuesday, no federal charges have been filed in the case.

When the drone was recovered, police announced they knew who the owner was and encouraged him to turn himself in. "Turn yourself in before we have to come knocking at your door, maybe on Christmas morning, with a warrant," the department posted on its Facebook page.

On Jan. 19, Aaron Dennis Foote, 39, of Orem, and Terisha Lee Norviel, 34, were charged in 4th District Court with voyeurism by electronic equipment, a class A misdemeanor. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 3.

Foote has been charged several times with burglary and theft, according to state court records. Most recently, he was charged in September with felony theft and burglary in 4th District Court. He was arrested for allegedly assaulting Norviel in a domestic violence case in August, according to a police report. In 2007, he was charged with voyeurism for an alleged incident at a tanning salon.

Orem, Utah — (KUTV) Early in the morning on Dec. 3, 2016, an Orem man, preparing for his day, looked out his bathroom window to find a hi-tech drone hovering outside.

The man bolted out of his house, got in his truck and followed that drone.

"It actually lands in a church parking lot near his house," said Lt. Craig Martinez with Orem Police.

Police said the drone pilot was no where to be found so the victim gathered the aircraft up, plugged it in, and found video, captured by the drone's camera, of several people in their homes in the early morning hours. Police said it appears the pilot would hover his aircraft and wait for a light to turn on inside a house or apartment then navigate his drone to that window and capture video.

After police reviewed the tape, they said they had plenty of evidence needed to charge someone with voyeurism, but it appears, no suspect. The police however got a lucky break when the camera aboard the drone turned towards, and captured, an image of the pilot's truck and, the pilot.

Police said they have charged Aaron Dennis Foote and his girlfriend Terisha Lee Norviel with one count each of voyeurism.

It is the first reported case of a peeping-tom drone in Utah, but other states have already dealt with this. There have been reports of drone peeping in Alaska, and Washington state.

Police said Foote and Norviel's problems don't end with the voyeurism charges. The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into the possibility that the pair may have violated FAA regulations.

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Shawn Lynch said...

More fools giving legitimate drone/sUAS pilots a bad name. I hope the FAA does take an Enforcement Action against these jerks. As an FAA Certificated Drone Pilot, these incidents really offend me. It hurts the majority of us sUAS operators who are using drones to serve the community, make a living, and to enjoy our freedom to fly.

Anonymous said...

Look at that smug look on his face. Convict this punk and sentence him to actual time in an actual federal prison and publicize the bejesus out of it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm stunned the FAA isn't investigating this... according to them, aviation is their exclusive domain. Oh wait.. if the FAA investigated it... you'd get a letter 10 months from now saying it doesn't have an "N" number and they can't leave the office to do any follow up.