University of Florida Professor Don Samuelson, 65, has been arrested for a rather bizarre obsession. Using a camera pen, Samuelson was accused of filming under the clothing of female students in his class. What is even more bizarre is his defense: he insists that he was doing research to determine whether any students were not “wearing undergarments.” What Samuelson insisted was harmless research is considered by the police to be voyeurism.
Arrested on two felonies, the best thing to do is to stay quiet, listen to Miranda, and invoke. Police say that Samuelson opted to admit to filming under the skirts of students but insisted it was in the name of research. Of course, that is a non-starter like claiming flashing bystanders is research. It could well be but it is also a crime. The claim however did not exactly fit the record. Samuelson is quoted as saying that he was “attempting to gather proof” that one of the women “was not wearing undergarments” in class. However some videos were taken of a student’s breasts. When confronted on the anomaly in his “research,” Samuelson “acknowledged that this activity was ‘inappropriate.’” Which leads me again to the question of why he did not remain silent.
The statute covers such videotaping “for his or her own amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing another person.” That does not include “research” but then again his “research” did not include breast shots. I foresee a plea in the future.
A professor of Veterinary Medicine, Samuelson would use a camera pen for students working in this laboratory. One victim realized that he was filming her and a search of his office uncovered the camera pen with an integrated USB thumb drive.
If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years in prison on each felony count though, as a first offender, he could expect less.
The University has taken down Samuelson’s name on its website, but another website states his interests as:
My principal interests involve comparative anatomy and physiology of most organ systems of the body with special emphasis on those structures associated with marine mammals. We are currently working with sensory, reproductive, immune and integumentary systems. There are also ongoing eye-related studies associated with age-related diseases, including glaucoma and macular degeneration.