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Reston ‘Upskirt’ Suspect Found Guilty on Three Charges

by Karen Goff — January 8, 2016 at 2:45 pm 18 Comments

Michael Wayne Edwards, Sept. 6 booking/FCPDMichael Wayne Edwards Jr., the Centreville man charged with filming women without their consent in the South Lakes Safeway, was found guilty by a Fairfax County District Court judge on several of the charges Friday.

Edwards, who was employed as a trainer at a nearby Reston gym at the time of his arrest, was charged in August and September for two incidents here.

The first incident was July 24, where the victim said she was in the South Lakes Safeway and felt someone someone bump her and then touch her underneath clothing while she was in the store.

The other incident was Aug. 5. In that incident, a woman said Edwards followed her as she shopped at Safeway, and then followed her down Sunrise Valley Drive as she returned to work. He also exposed himself, the woman said.

In the two cases, Edwards was charged with stalking, indecent exposure, filming a person without their consent (three charges) and simulated masturbation. He was released on $2,500 bond last summer.

In court Friday, Judge Ian O’Flaherty dismissed three of the charges and found him guilty of two of the filming charges and the simulated masturbation charge.

O’Flaherty sentenced Edwards to one-year supervised probation and six months in jail.

However, Edwards’ attorney, Jennifer Raimo, immediately appealed the sentence. When that happens, the defendant can remain free on bond while the case is revisited in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

Raimo had no comment on the case.

This is not the first time Edwards has been accused of a sexually related crime. In 2010, he was charged with several accounts of second-degree assault after he squirted semen from a bottle on women as they exited a Giant and Michael’s craft stores in Gaithersburg, Md.

Edwards pled guilty to one of those charges (the rest were dropped as part of the plea deal). He was fined $500 and given a three-year suspended jail sentence, Montgomery County records show. His probation period ended in June 2014.

Photo: Michael Wayne Edwards, Sept. 6 booking photo/FCPD

  • LaffTaffy

    Seems to take awhile to get behind bars, even when you’re guilty..

  • Mike M

    Karen, is “upskirt” a term you’ve coined? Will it be in the Merriam-Webster next year?

    • Karen Goff

      No, it is a commonly used term by both law enforcement AND x-rated video sites because sadly this is a common thing these days. Google it and see where the links take you. Eeek.

      • Mike M

        And in a world with so much more meaningful and less predatory fun to be had.

    • surfish

      Common term.

    • trac ingr

      yeah umm , only existed for about 20 years now.

    • Jayman

      did you just fall off the turnip truck?

      • Mike M

        PS: This story is three months old. Were you googling up-skirt again?

  • Mary Cavanaugh

    This is really disturbing that this guy is still out after being charged and multiple crimes since 2010. It is even more disturbing that people are defending him and don’t seem to have concern for his victims.

  • surfish

    Slap on the wrist for a guy who will very likely repeat, or commit worse.

  • trac ingr

    Texas court throws out ‘upskirt’ photo law
    By Cindy George
    September 17, 2014
    Updated: September 19, 2014 2:43pm

    The state’s highest criminal court on Wednesday tossed out part
    of a Texas law banning “improper photography or visual recording” –
    surreptitious images acquired in public for sexual gratification, often
    called “upskirting” or “downblousing” – as a violation of federal
    free-speech rights and an improper restriction on a person’s right to
    individual thoughts.

    In an 8-1 ruling, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said photos,
    like paintings, films and books, are “inherently expressive” and,
    therefore, are protected by the First Amendment. The opinion supported a
    previous decision by the San Antonio-based 4th Court of Appeals.

    • trac ingr

      Yep, you are in public, expect to be photographed, I always new this upskirt law was in violation, glad to see Texas is on the ball.

      Button up and wear slacks ladies or get over it. YOU are the problem, not the person exercising their rights.

    • But don’t forget…

      There is also that other Texas law — well, it’s more of a guideline than a law, really — known as “he needed killing”.

      Keep that in mind and exercise your “right” to photograph wisely…

    • surfish

      Texas. That says it all.
      May your mother have a camera pointed towards her privates.

  • Patrick Ohara

    guys that do this and film in womens changing areas deserve to be locked up or at the very least be put on a sex offender list for life.With micro cameras becoming small in size this is a common thing that is happening in our country.I just hope some idiot does,nt start using “drones” to peer into upper level homes,or anything high tech to commit these crimes.This might not be a problem now,but all of us should be alert to this.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    So, I have to ask, Mr. Edwards. Was that hootchie shot worth the hassle?

  • John Higgins

    Three points:
    Karen, thanks for deleting that asinine comment about women and their attire having anything to do with these criminal acts.

    Six months in the slammer sounds about right for this case. The loss of six months’ wages, the indignities he will experience, and the continuing criminal record is fair punishment. Only thing lacking is some reason to hope he turns around whatever drives this perversion. Perhaps he can get some counseling while a guest of the state.

    The Texas court decision mentioned by one commentator is not as bizarre as it sounds. In that case, the defendant was charged with taking photos, in the open, of females at a water park. What made it criminal was the phrase in Texas law “with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the defendant.” That called for some mind-reading on the part of juries. Moreover, it swept in virtually any photo taken by one person of another. The Texas legislature can fix that.

  • Jon Taylor

    lmao

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