Jackson County prosecutors Friday accused a 42-year-old man of secretly videotaping up women’s skirts while he trolled Kansas City streets asking women if he could photograph their feet.
Prosecutors charged Sterling Newsome of Kansas City with two counts of invasion of privacy of multiple victims
Police found 15 video clips of women on Newsome’s camcorder, according to court records. In four clips, he appeared to have concealed the camera before filming up unidentified and unsuspecting women’s skirts, the records said. The criminal charges stem from those four clips.
Police learned of the incidents after three women reported an encounter with Newsome downtown. They said he approached them as they were walking to their hotel Thursday and said he was a Kansas City Art Institute student. He asked if they would sit on the steps across from the hotel so he could take pictures of their feet. The women, all in their 20s, initially agreed. When it appeared he was trying to take pictures under their skirts, they went back to their hotel.
As they grew more concerned about what happened, they decided to go back and ask him to see the photos. Newsome allegedly gave several excuses as to why he could not show them the photos, including that they were already posted on Facebook and that he had deleted them. As they talked, he allegedly fumbled with his camera and removed the memory card. The women then asked some male friends to help them confront Newsome and they called police about 5:25 p.m.
Newsome, who works at a grocery store, told police he was a freelance artist taking pictures of women’s feet at a downtown convention of business students. He said he didn’t have any photos, only video. Police asked to look at his camcorder and it allegedly showed him walking around and trying to film up women’s skirts downtown and on the Country Club Plaza. The video clips were not in sequential order, indicating that some images had been deleted, according to court records.
The women gave permission to film their feet, Newsome told police, “but if they move their legs and his camera catches something else, so be it,” according to court records.