What are the Penalties for Filming a Person Engaged in a Private Act?


A 36-year-old man from Hong Kong has allegedly installed a camera in a deodorant stick.

It is reported that the hidden camera was found in a shared bathroom of a Bondi Beach hostel.

The hidden camera was only discovered, according to reports, by a French backpacker on Monday night, who had made the discovery when walking out of the shower of the shared bathroom.

The 27-year-old French backpacker who had booked into the Bondi Beach hostel, discovered the deodorant with the hidden camera in a toiletry bag.

It turns out that the man from Hong Kong was arrested after police found parts of a broken camera on him following a search.

It is also reported that police seized storage devices and computer hard drives that were also found to be in his custody or control.

Following further investigations, the seized storage devices allegedly contained recorded videos of women performing private acts. The recordings are reportedly described as discreet filming.

The 36-year-old man has been charged with filming a person engaged in a private act.

Any person who gets convicted of the offence of filming a person engaged in a private act under section 91K(1) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) will be required to disclose the criminal conviction if ever asked, ‘do you have a criminal conviction?’ (section 7 Criminal Records Act 1991 (NSW)).

In addition to this, anyone convicted of this offence will also be refused a working with children check clearance in New South Wales under section 23 Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW). This can then prevent a person from getting any job involving interactions with children.

Click here for an outline of the consequence of being convicted of a sex offence.

What are the Penalties for Filming a Person Engaged in Private Act?

Anyone guilty of filming an undressed person, a person using a toilet, showering, bathing or engaging in a sexual act not normally done in public, in circumstances that the filmed person would ordinarily expect privacy will face heavy penalties if it is done for sexual gratification/arousal, or if it is done to enable someone else to obtain the same if:

  • There was no consent from the filmed person; and
  • The offender knew that the filmed person didn’t consent.

This crime carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment of up to 2-years and/or a fine of up to $11,000 in the Local Court (section 91K(1) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)).

Anyone who commits this crime in ‘circumstances of aggravation’ under section 91K(3) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) will face a maximum penalty of up to 5-years imprisonment.

‘Circumstances of aggravation’ includes committing this offence in circumstances the filmed person is a child under 16-years of age or where the offender filming had constructed or adapted the fabric of any building to facilitate the offence.

The alternative offence of this is section 91M Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which carries the same maximum penalty of up to 2-years imprisonment. It prohibits anyone from installing a device, or to construct or adapt the fabric of any building, in order to facilitate the observation or filming of another person by committing the offence under section 91K.

It is a defence to these charges, which if successful will result in the charge being dismissed if any one of the following defences apply:

  • The prosecution cannot prove that the filming was done for sexual gratification or arousal; or
  • The accused person was not the perpetrator who did the filming; or
  • The person who was filmed, was filmed in circumstances he/she would not ordinarily expect privacy; or
  • Consent to the filming was given for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal for you or others; or
  • You honestly believed, in circumstances it was reasonable to have held the belief, that the person filmed consented to it for the purposes of sexual gratification or arousal.

Contact our office for any further information on this charge. We are available 24/7 and provide a free first consultation with fixed fees for most criminal charges.

We appear in all courts, and have criminal defence lawyers in Newcastle, Parramatta, Sydney City and 5 other locations.

About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Leading Criminal Lawyers in Sydney, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Criminal Courts.

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