Lawyer behind bars!

Hey, check this out. This one gets his own finally.

Former Vermont Lawmaker Admits “Peeping Tom” Charge

http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=4786318

Burlington, Vermont – April 18, 2006

A former three-term state lawmaker Tuesday became the first person convicted under Vermont’s new peeping tom law. Burlington lawyer Alan Bjerke pleaded no contest to one count of attempted voyeurism for sticking his cell phone camera where it didn’t belong.

Bjerke was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2000. He served three terms as a Burlington representative in the Vermont House. He is a lawyer with one of Burlington’s most respected firms. Tuesday, he admitted his guilt to high-tech peeping at a tanning parlor.

Bjerke usually comes to court to represent his clients. Tuesday, he needed a lawyer because he was charged with violating Vermont’s one-year-old peeping tom law. Police say Bjerke committed his crime at the Body Le Bronz tanning parlor on Pearl Street using his camera phone.

Bjerke was tanning in booth number three on February 9 and reached up over the top of the wall with his picture phone and started taking pictures of the woman who was in booth number four, according to police affidavits. Police say the half-clothed woman was looking in the mirror and in the reflection saw the phone above the wall pointed at her, and she yelled out, “Are you taking a picture of me?” Then she quickly got dressed and notified the attendant while Bjerke continued to tan in booth number 3.

Police say they initially determined Bjerke’s identity from tanning parlor records. Police say when they later interviewed him at his home, he neither denied nor confessed he had taken the pictures. And there was no clear photo of the woman on the phone. But police charged Bjerke after the tanning attendant and the victim positively picked him out of a photo array.

“Obviously we wanted to take care of this right away and make sure it doesn’t happen… in my business or anyone else’s,”said Body Le Bronz co-owner Randy Ploof. “I think it’s terrible.Victimized us. Victimized the people that were involved anybody else out there in the community.”

In court, Bjerke tried to hide behind his lawyer from our camera as he entered a no contest plea to one count of attempted voyeurism. It’s part of a plea deal that gets him 18 months on probation and a clean record if he stays out of trouble. Prosecutors accepted the plea deal because Bjerke has no record and he must own up to the crime.

“Because in order to complete counseling requirements of probation he will have to take responsibility for his actions,” explained John St. Francis, Chittenden County Deputy Prosecutor.

After the hearing, Bjerke quickly left the courthouse and had “no comment” according to his lawyer.

Brian Joyce – Channel 3 News

I wonder why he didn’t represent himself?

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