The York County solicitor's office has dropped a voyeurism charge against the 47-year-old Rock Hill man who was accused of filming and taking photos of a woman in a bikini at an apartment complex pool.
Leslie Robinson, an assistant solicitor with the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, says Sean Patrick Kilkenny of Rock Hill was not breaking a law when he took the images at a pool in the apartments where he lives.
“Kilkenny was lawfully at the pool and the content in the photographs and videos was open to public view, meaning that there would be no reasonable expectation of privacy under the circumstances,” Robinson said in a statement sent to the Observer.
“While the alleged conduct is perhaps concerning and distasteful, it does not rise to the level of criminal conduct. By way of analogy, the alleged conduct is more akin to paparazzi-style photography of celebrities on public beaches than surreptitious recording of individuals in bathroom stalls where they would expect to have privacy.”
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The photography took place Friday afternoon at the Lexington Commons pool off Walnut Hill Drive in Rock Hill, reported the Rock Hill Herald.
Officers saw a man taking photos with his phone of women in their bathing suits, it was reported. The man then started using a GoPro video camera to film women under water, it was reported.
Kilkenny told police that he was “taking pictures of the scenery around the pool,” it was reported, and he consented to having police look at the photos on his phone and the video on his camera. After looking at the photos, which were focused on a woman in her bathing suit, officers arrested Kilkenny, it was reported.
Under South Carolina law: A person commits the crime of voyeurism if, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire of any person, he or she knowingly views, photographs, audio records, video records, produces, or creates a digital electronic file, or films another person, without that person's knowledge and consent, while the person is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.