Imagine that you’re out and about, perhaps phone in your hand, when you witness a crime take place either in front of you or you’re the victim, so you start using your phone to record the incident to use it as evidence or proof of the crime taking place. Sounds fine, right? Imagine the surprise of a Pennsylvania sophomore who discovered that he had been charged with wiretapping instead of being able to use his recordings as evidence.
The story goes like this: a Pennsylvania sophomore complained to his mom about being bullied in school. To prove that he was not making this up, he decided to use his school-approved iPad to record the incident on audio. The audio recordings did prove he was being harassed, with students making fun of him, making extremely rude comments, and even mock hitting him so as to scare him, as one of them admitted on audio.
When his mom heard the recording, naturally she was livid and went to the principal to inform him of what was going on, but instead of investigating what went on, the principal called the police on the teen instead, and said that was being charged with felony wiretapping because he had apparently made an audio recording in a place where privacy was expected.
The charges were eventually dropped to disorderly conduct and even the judge presiding over the case, District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet, ruled against the teen. Naturally the teen’s lawyers are planning to appeal the ruling later towards the end of the month. It should also be noted that the bullies were reportedly never punished. Shocking, huh?