Man charged for taking pictures at South Plains Fair urinal - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Man charged for taking pictures at South Plains Fair urinal

Raul Blanco, 54 (Provided by Lubbock County Sheriff) Raul Blanco, 54 (Provided by Lubbock County Sheriff)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

A teen claims a 54-year-old man filmed him in the men's a restroom at the South Plains Fair last year. Now months later, felony charges have been filed.

Raul Blanco was charged with improper photography and visual recording Friday.

According to his arrest affidavit, the incident happened on October 1, 2011 around 11:30 a.m. Lubbock Police say Blanco held his cell phone on his left hip to record a 17-year-old teen and another person.

The teen told police he was using the urinal when he noticed Blanco standing next to him, looking down and recording his genitals. He says he never spoke to the man. He then left and told his step-dad. The teen's step-dad went back into the restroom and witnessed Blanco recording someone else.

Shortly after, police were notified and arrested him. Police asked if they could look at Blanco's phone. He first told them yes, but later withdrew his consent saying "I don't want to incriminate myself".

This is the first time the fair manger, Herb Higgs, has heard of this.

"We run a very family oriented event. We are always concerned about the safety of the public," Higgs said.

He says they do not have privacy walls between the urinals and he's not concerned about it.

"This facility is old facility and there are no partitions between the urinals in the men's facilities, which is not that uncommon," he said.

However, he says security is their top priority.

"Officers are on foot walking the fair grounds. We have had incidents where we have the bike patrol," Higgs said.

To stop invasion of privacy an associate dean at Texas Tech says the legislature needs to keep up with technology.

"Now just about everybody has a portable camera with them. That was not the case 10 or 15 years ago. The sheer numbers of cameras make the protection of privacy necessary," said Texas Tech School of Law, Associate Dean Wes Cochran.

He says Texas privacy laws were amended in 2001 and they should probably be looked at again.

"The legislature is going to have to stay abreast of technology. And so as new developments come forward, they will have to amend statues accordingly," Cochran said.

If convicted, Blanco could face up to two years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

Blanco was already in jail on an unrelated charge. 

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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