ROELAND PARK, Kan. -- The Johnson County District Attorney has charged a 63-year-old man with breach of privacy for allegedly "upskirting" five teenage girls at the QuikTrip at 51st and Roe.
According to the affidavit, a woman told police she saw a man behaving suspiciously at the QuikTrip. She told police that on Friday, Jan. 29, she saw a man follow two girls, ages 18 and 17, into the store and take an 'upskirt' photo of them. When police looked at the store's surveillance video, they say they saw the man, whom they later identified as John Britton, follow a girl in a school uniform into the store. Police say the video shows the man watched her and other females in the store and waited for them to go to the counter. According to police, he stood behind them in line, bent down, placed his cell phone on the floor while tying his shoe. Police say Britton returned to the store after school dismissed. When police questioned him, he said he did not remember placing his phone on the floor earlier in the day when he was there. Officers recovered his phone and found four videos of interest. They included 'upskirt pictures' of girls in school uniforms who were later identified as female students are 16, 15, and 14-years-old.
Prosecutors say this type of breach of privacy happens lots of ways. Some people are so bold as to hold their phone under a girl’s skirt, while others will put their phone on the ground with the video rolling in the path of a walking girl, and get their shot as she walks by.
“They’re on your corner, they’re in your QuikTrip, they are everywhere. It’s sad really what the world has come to," said Kim Wohler, who lives in KCK and shops at the QuikTrip in Roeland Park.
The news that 63-year-old John Britton, Sr. is accused of upskirting teenage girls there hits close to home, because Wohler’s 18-year-old granddaughter has been the victim of perverted stares from older men.
“You can tell by the look on their face, and there’s a lot of pretty girls around and you can definitely tell by the look on their face when they are looking at you or just creepily looking at you. I just walk away because that’s weird," said 18-year-old Kelsie Wohler.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe says breach of privacy is a serious felony and the law went into effect after technology exploded. The law protects people who are trying to conduct their lives in public without other people trying to expose them.
"If you think about it, once it’s captured electronically on a phone or a camera, that can be distributed throughout the internet, so the impact to the victim can be really severe in some instances," said Howe, who goes on to say that these kinds of perverts usually target teenage girls like Kelsey Wohler.
Kelsey says she and some friends recently left a store because of what she called a “creepy old guy” looking her up and down in a secluded aisle.
"We don’t ever do nothing. We don’t know what to do," said Wohler.
Howe says you should not be hesitant to contact the business that you are at, or law enforcement and let them know what you see. That’s generally how police solve these cases.
Britton posted a $10,000 bond and was released from jail. If found guilty, Britton is facing one to five years in prison for each of the five breach of privacy charges. He does not have any sort of criminal history, and Howe says typically people with Britton’s clean backgrounds are sentenced to one to three years behind bars.