One man took the Boy Scout motto “be prepared” to the extreme when he videotaped his wife without her knowledge heading into a divorce, and he is now being sued for it.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Joseph Zang secretly videotaped his wife Catherine with hidden cameras for some time before she discovered the recordings during their 2009 divorce proceedings. The discovery sparked a complex legal battle as a dozen friends and relatives were reportedly recorded without their knowledge in the videos.
“I haven’t seen anything like this before,” says one of the plaintiffs. “It’s scary.”
Even more shocking, privacy experts have said that due to the widespread availability of cheap, high-quality surveillance equipment, this type of thing is not too uncommon, and is actually happening all over the country. “There’s absolutely been an increase in this,” said one lawyer, continuing, “They have very sophisticated technology now.” Furthermore, most video surveillance laws were put to the books before the digital era, so what’s on paper doesn’t often aid lawyers in cases like this.
“With the technology evolving at a rapid rate, the case law is in flux,” said Julie Wilson, spokeswoman for Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. “It’s not a real black and white issue.”
It’s not altogether clear what laws Zang broken by videotaping his wife, friends, and family, reports Newser, because the equipment was in his own home.
Though no criminal charges have been filed against Zang, he is facing two federal lawsuits over the videotaping of his wife. They are seeking damages of hundreds of thousands of dollars for wiretapping and invasion of privacy. “The intrusion … would be highly offensive to a reasonable person,” Catherine Zang’s lawsuit says.
What do you think? Is Joseph Zang, as the Enquirer puts it, a scary creep or just a frustrated guy?