Published: Jun 26, 2012 10:08 PM
Modified: Jun 26, 2012 10:09 PM
CHAPEL HILL - A Roxboro man charged with spying on a woman as she undressed this week was already due in court next month on felony peeping charges.
John Thomas Whitt Jr., 60, of 2089 Virgilina Road, was arrested Oct. 31 on felony peeping charges after police say he was caught videotaping up women’s skirts during the town’s Franklin Street Halloween celebration.
Whitt’s serial peeping can be traced back to 2001 when he was found on the roof of Kappa Delta sorority house at UNC-Chapel Hill with a video camera.
He was sentenced to eight months in prison for the sorority peeping incident, which led state legislators to make the peeping laws in North Carolina more strict.
A state law passed in 2003 made it a felony to videotape someone’s naked body or undergarments without consent. Before this, peeping with video was only a misdemeanor.
Whitt was charged with peeping again Sunday, but the charge is a misdemeanor because there was no video.
He also was charged with assault on an officer, said Lt. Kevin Gunter, Chapel Hill police spokesman.
Police say they found Whitt at 700 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., after a woman, who was undressing in her room, heard noises outside her window at Mill Creek Apartments.
When she went outside to investigate, she saw an older white man wearing glasses whom she later identified as Whitt.
She immediately called 911 and police found Whitt between the “A” and “B” buildings of the complex, Gunter said.
He said Whitt tried to flee and became violent when the officer caught up to him.
“When the officer got near him, he turned and attempted to punch the officer with his fist,” Gunter said.
Whitt was taken to Orange County jail and held under $1,500 bail.
After the 2001 sorority incident, the police searched Whitt’s business and found more videotape evidence of his peeping.
Police used the tapes to charge Whitt with 87 counts of misdemeanor peeping and four counts of felony intercepting oral communication for conversations caught on tape.
He also has been arrested for peeping incidents at N.C. State University and Duke University.
In May 2002, Whitt pleaded guilty to 21 misdemeanor counts of secretly peeping and four felony counts of intercepting oral communication.
“We pled guilty because we thought it was in his best interest to do so,” his attorney, Don Dickerson, said at the time. “He made a decision. We had a man obviously that had a serious problem. He’s been in constant therapy. He needs to get this behind him and get on with his life.”
Whitt will appear in Orange County Superior Court on July 10 for the Oct. 31 felony charges, according to court documents. News researcher Peggy Neal contributed to this article.