An Albany man who used his phone to surreptitiously take photographs up girls’ skirts in both Target and Fred Meyer in August pleaded no contest on Friday in Linn County Circuit Court to four counts of second-degree invasion of personal privacy, a misdemeanor crime.
Daniel Sappington, 20, was sentenced to 60 days in jail, as well as 33 days in jail he’s already spent in jail since being arrested Aug. 18. He also was placed on supervised probation for five years, must register as a sex offender, and faces several special probation conditions.
As part of a plea deal, eight additional upskirting charges were dismissed. Twelve separate victims were identified — eleven children and one woman — and each had multiple photos taken of them, said Prosecutor George Eder.
Only one of the victims could be identified, however, and that was the girl whose mother reported the crimes.
That girl’s father told Judge Carol Bispham he was “appalled” by the sentence.
“He’s clearly a threat to the community,” the victim's father said, adding that Sappington stalked his wife and 11-year-old daughter through the Albany Target store, and once his crime was discovered, he chased them out of the business.
“My daughter will probably never feel the same. It’s horrible,” the father said.
Some area parents weren’t aware that their daughters were victims of Sappington, he added.
Bispham verbally blasted Sappington, and said she was constrained in making the sentence and could not impose prison time.
“These are appalling offenses and what you did to that child is appalling and shocking and will always be with her,” Bispham said.
“The court and the state must follow the law, whether we agree with it or not,” she added.
The 60 days in jail wasn’t recommended by either the prosecution or defense in the negotiated settlement.
Sappington made no statement during the hearing. But defense attorney Keith Rohrbough said that the supervised probation would make sure that Sappington’s conduct would not repeat itself.
“He’s very remorseful for what he’s done,” Rohrbough said.
Eder said that Sappington cooperated with police, and when contacted outside Target on Aug. 17, he surrendered his phone. “He said, ‘Please, take this. It’s getting me into trouble,’” Eder said.
The prosecutor stressed that there was no evidence of actual physical touching involving the children in either Target or Fred Meyer, where Sappington took pictures up girls' skirts on Aug. 16.
Eder said that supervised probation is seldom imposed for misdemeanor offenses, but Linn County Parole & Probation indicated that they would have staff available to monitor Sappington.
When Sappington was 14, he committed first-degree sodomy against a young child in Sweet Home, Eder said. However, because Sappington’s case was handled as a juvenile matter, it didn’t count against him in the recent case, the prosecution added.
If he had previously been convicted as an adult of a sex crime, he would have faced a felony charge of second-degree invasion of personal privacy, Eder said.