When the trial for a man accused of surreptitiously videotaping his housesitter begins Oct. 3, video clips will be visible only to jurors via television, 6th Judicial District Judge David Dickinson ruled Friday.
Dickinsons order was an alternative to a motion by Deputy District Attorney Justin Faye that the courtroom be closed during the showing of an undetermined number of video clips.
Mark Steve Brown is suspected of placing two hidden video cameras inside his condominium at 1255 Florida Road to record the activities of a woman who was watching the condo while he was in South Korea as a civilian contractor providing post-traumatic stress therapy to military personnel.
Brown, who is charged with stalking, could spend up to three years in prison. He is free on $5,000 bail. The videotaping occurred in the fall of 2010.
Brown also is charged with two counts of unlawful sexual contact, part of a Peeping Tom statute that prohibits photographing or videotaping people without their consent when they have a reasonable expectation of privacy and the use of the images for sexual gratification.
The cameras, one in the living area, the other in the bedroom, were on motion sensors that recorded hundreds of short clips. The camera in the bedroom, pointed at the bed, recorded 1,414 moments about five hours that caught the victim in various stages of undress and with her boyfriend, an arrest affidavit said.
Dickinson on Friday also allowed telephone testimony of a police detective and that of R.W. Ragsdale, a Durango psychologist who interviewed Brown for defense attorney Carolyn Ann Wilber.
On Friday, Dickinson went over ground rules for the trial, which is expected to take three to four days. He wants the video clips to remain as individual units but said the prosecution can link a number as continuous footage. Wilber objected, saying that splicing the clips would not be an accurate portrayal of events.
Brown was arrested after the victim, who has not been publicly identified, discovered the video cameras and went to police. Police monitored a call she made to Brown to confront him about the cameras.
Brown, who became nervous but claimed they were for security, told her to unplug them, the arrest affidavit said. She asked if she was being recorded and Brown answered no numerous times, the affidavit said.