The New York Criminal Law Blog

Mt. Sinai Urologist Could Face More Charges

It takes a pretty unusual occurrence to attract the attention of the entire City of New York. Last week, the eyes of New York were focused on a prestigious Mount Sinai physician, who was caught using a pen camera to allegedly film up the skirt of a woman on the subway.

According to CBS, Dr. Adam Levinson, who trained at Berkeley, Georgetown and New York Medical College, and who has multiple awards and publications to his name, might now be facing multiple felony charges for the peeping-tom photography.

What a waste of decades of education and accomplishment.

The investigation into Dr. Levinson was sparked by an observant passenger on the subway. Shelton Birthwright, 46, noticed that Dr. Levinson was allegedly holding a rolled up newspaper with a pen clipped to it at his waistline. Whenever the woman next to him moved, he would move with her. Birthright, a former TSA agent, notified the transit authorities, reports the New York Daily News.

The police took Dr. Levinson into custody and searched the contents of the pen camera. At least 19 images were on the pen, including recordings where the camera was pointed up the skirt of at least two women. His apartment was also searched, where even more illicit images were reportedly found.

Late last week, Dr. Levinson was charged with unlawful surveillance in the second degree. The law prohibits putting up changing-room cameras, bathroom cameras, and of course, taking upskirt photos and videos with a pen camera for the purpose of his own or another's "amusement, entertainment" or "sexual arousal or sexual gratification."

In short, no naughty voyeur photos for amusement or arousal. However, if you "accidently" held that camera on a rolled up newspaper, you might be okay.

Unlawful surveillance in the second degree is a class E felony, which carries up to four years in prison. For most felonies, the minimum is one year. However, there is a provision for a more lenient sentence of less than a year, if the judge feels that the "nature and circumstances of the crime and to the history and character of the defendant" warrant leniency.

Then again, it would be surprising to see him strike a favorable deal now that additional photos have been discovered in his home. In fact, more charges and more potential jail time could follow. A felony conviction will probably end his award-winning medical career.

Then again, so could Googling his name.

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