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Judge slaps library peeper with a year behind bars

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Cumming man has been sentenced to serve one year behind bars for peeping over women's bathroom stalls at the Suwanee public library.

Last month, a Gwinnett jury ruled 67-year-old Bernard Lindsey peeped on a female library patron over bathroom stalls in October 2009. Lindsey's attorney argued the library regular had wandered into the women's facilities on accident and peeked over the stall only when he heard a woman in the room.

Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Debra Turner sentenced Lindsey on Friday to serve a year behind bars with special conditions he refrain from county libraries and parks upon his release, defense attorney Lucas Harsh said.

Lindsey had asked the court for more time prior to sentencing to get his affairs in order, but the judge denied that, Harsh said.

"(Lindsey) made it clear he will exercise his right to appeal and maintained it was an inadvertent accident" at the sentencing hearing, Harsh said Monday.

Lindsey was convicted on felony counts of peeping Tom and unlawful eavesdropping. Free on bond since a few days after his December 2009 arrest, Lindsey was taken into custody at the Friday hearing.

Lindsey used a handicapped stall in the women's restroom as a vantage point into other stalls. He was caught when a 68-year-old woman working on her doctoral dissertation saw his head popping over the stalls' low walls while washing her hands after using the facilities, Assistant District Attorney Stephen Fern said during trial.

Lindsey hustled to his car and left the library, but not before the victim pointed him out to several employees, who jotted his tag number.