Jury rules library patron peeped on purpose

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Gwinnett jury this week ruled a 67-year-old Cumming man peeped on a female library patron over bathroom stalls two years ago.

A defense attorney for Bernard Lindsey argued his client had mistakenly entered the women's restroom at Suwanee's public library in October 2009 and was looking over stalls only when he thought he'd heard a woman in the room.

After deliberations that spanned a day, jurors indicated Thursday afternoon they weren't buying that explanation. Lindsey was convicted on felony counts of peeping Tom and unlawful eavesdropping. He faces between one and five years in prison on each count.

A sentencing hearing for Lindsey is scheduled Sept. 30, said Assistant District Attorney Stephen Fern.

Lindsey has been free on bond since a few days after his December 2009 arrest. Following his conviction, Fern requested he immediately be taken into custody, but Superior Court Judge Debra Turner allowed him to remain free, pending sentencing, per the defense's request.

Defense attorney Lucas Harsh said this client "maintains his innocence and was disappointed by the jury's verdict." Lindsey is considering an appeal, Harsh said.

During the trial, Fern told jurors Lindsey, a library regular, used a handicapped stall in the women's restroom as a vantage point into other stalls. He was caught, Fern said, 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.

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, Fern said.

Harsh posited that, when it dawned on Lindsey he was in the wrong bathroom, he was "mortified" and intent on separating himself from the embarrassing situation as soon as possible.