In June 2011, a Boulder, Colorado, man was arrested on multiple criminal charges. The arrest was made days after witnesses at an event in Boulder claimed they saw the man emerging from a porta potty covered in waste just after a woman used it. As a result of these accusations, the man became popularly known as the “potty peeper.”
The charges leveled against the man are no laughing matter. After being accused of illegally entering buildings and making modifications to the structures to spy on people in bathrooms, in addition to the porta potty, the man was charged with several counts of burglary and sex crimes. After shifting through multiple defense strategies, the man recently accepted a plea bargain.
In initial legal proceedings, the Boulder man’s attorney suggested that a mental health evaluation should be performed. After this request, the man went through multiple attorneys and switched his plea to “not guilty by reason of insanity.” More than two years after the legal saga began, the man finally accepted reduced charges and pleaded guilty.
The man could face between two and six years on felony burglary charges, in addition to the consequences for misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact. However, the man’s attorney believes a lighter sentence may still be possible.
Fairness is crucial in any criminal trial, but it is especially important when there are mental health concerns. Dealing with mental health in the criminal justice system is incredibly complex. Above all, the hope is that the choice to accept a plea deal was truly in the man’s best interests, considering the number of factors that could have played into this incident.
Source: Boulder Daily Camera, “Luke Chrisco, accused Boulder ‘potty peeper,’ pleads guilty,” Mitchell Byars, July 9, 2013