Crime

Joshua Vohs convicted for taking photos up women's skirts with shoe camera

Remember Richard Reid, the so-called Shoe Bomber, who's among the ten most infamous prisoners in Colorado's supermax prison? Well, now we have a Shoe Cameraman -- not that Joshua Vohs took photos of shoes. Instead, he used the device to snap images up women's skirts.

No, we're not making this up.

The story comes to us courtesy of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, which notes that Vohs first exhibited an interest in combining footwear and photography back in 2006, following an arrest at a bar in Crested Butte. An employee contacted police after becoming suspicious of the way Vohs was approaching women -- and those suspicions were well-founded. Turns out he had a video recorder strapped to his foot with duct tape.

At the time, Vohs didn't admit the gadget was for getting a down-low view of the female undercarriage. Instead, he insisted that he'd used the camera to shoot from a dog's perspective while fishing.

World's worst excuse? Maybe -- but prosecutors made him a deal anyhow. He ultimately pleaded guilty to misdemeanor attempted invasion of privacy, an offense that earned him a year's probation.

In the latest case, Vohs didn't get off so lightly in regard to his manner of getting off. He was arrested at a Grand Junction supermarket last July after he was again spotted acting strangely. According to the Sentinel, surveillance video from the store showed him coming up to women from behind and sliding his foot under their dresses.

When cops checked out his latest doodad (a camera lens attached to his shoe top and connected via a wire to a battery in his pants), they reportedly found eleven videos featuring what the Sentinel describes as "private parts or undergarments" -- meaning, presumably, that some of Vohs's unwilling models had been going commando. Included in the collection was a woman urinating in a portable toilet -- a shot that would no doubt have won the approval of porta-potty creeper Luke Chrisco.

Once again, Vohs was amenable to a plea agreement, admitting guilt to one count of unlawful sexual contact -- a crime shy of a felony. That severely limited the amount of time Mesa County Judge Craig Henderson could hand him. Still, Henderson hit Vohs with the maximum allowable sentence (two years in county jail), supplemented by a serious tongue-lashing. The Sentinel quotes Henderson as saying that "short of actual penetration, this was a sexual assault" and lamented that he couldn't put him under a lifetime's worth of sex-offender supervision.

But at least he'll have to put his shutterbugging on hold -- for a while, anyhow. Here's a larger look at Vohs's mug shot:

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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Luke Chrisco's porta-potty creeping leads to toilet upgrade at yoga fest."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts