The state’s highest court has handed down a half-year suspension in the case of a Pennsylvania lawyer who used a small camera that had been affixed to his shoe to film up the skirts of a mother and daughter shopping at a suburban Philadelphia grocery store.
The Supreme Court on Sept. 4, acting upon the recommendations of its Disciplinary Board, agreed to suspend attorney Clayton William Boulware for a period of six months followed by three years’ probation.
The suspension came with conditions: the attorney must continue treatment with a mental healthcare professional, he must take medications as prescribed and engage in therapy and counseling sessions as directed, and he must file quarterly written reports with the Disciplinary Board’s secretary verifying that he is not in danger of repeating his criminal behavior.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a petition of discipline against Boulware in late 2011 stemming from a criminal conviction on two counts of invasion of privacy.
The lawyer, who at the time had no history of professional discipline, had been charged by police in Montgomery County’s Springfield Township with stalking, corruption of minors, invasion of privacy, open lewdness and disorderly conduct relating to a Sept. 9, 2008, incident at an Acme Market in Springfield in which Boulware videotaped up the skirts of two females, a mother and her teenage child, using a camera that was attached to his shoe, the record shows.
Boulware’s cover was blown after standing close to the 16-year-old girl as she bent over to pick up milk in a store aisle.
The teen, after noticing the camera affixed to Boulware’s shoe, went to find her mother.
The disciplinary petition notes that even after being noticed by the girl, Boulware continued to follow the 16-year-old, and only attempted to leave the scene after the girl sought assistance from the store’s manager.
Boulware was prevented from leaving the store by the mother, who blocked the lawyer’s path, and he was eventually detained by store workers until police arrived, the record shows.
The Disciplinary Board, in seeking action against Boulware, noted that the attorney had followed a different adult woman through the very same Acme Market on the day of the aforementioned incident, videotaping the woman in a similar manner using the shoe camera.
Police eventually obtained a search warrant to view images on a memory card belonging to Boulware, which depicted “upskirt” shots of other women shopping at various stores in the area.
The memory stick also showed images of women Boulware had secretly videotaped at the pool of his Montgomery County apartment complex, the record shows.
In early May 2011, Boulware pleaded guilty in magisterial district court in Montgomery County to two counts of invasion of privacy.
Boulware received two years’ probation and was ordered to pay a $300 fine for the first count, and was given a period of probation for one year on the second count, with the two sentences to run consecutively.
Boulware, who works as corporate counsel for Resources for Human Development Inc., a nonprofit organization with 3,500 employees in 13 states, did not disclose his arrest to the agency at the time of his hiring, according to the Disciplinary Board.
Rather, he didn’t come clean until after he began working for RHD.
Gene Schneyer, general counsel for the nonprofit agency, referred to Boulware as a “top notch” and “excellent” employee during an April 2012 disciplinary hearing, according to the board’s petition.
At the hearing, Boulware’s therapist testified that she believed the attorney would not be at risk for repeating the behavior that led to his arrest.
For at least two weeks prior to his arrest, a period of time when Boulware was experiencing financial and relationship issues, along with other personal hardships, the attorney admitted to having followed strange women around local businesses and videotaping them up their skirts or dresses without their knowledge or consent, the Disciplinary Board’s petition states.
Boulware’s testimony at his disciplinary hearing revealed that when he engaged in the criminal misconduct, “he knew it was wrong and he knew there would be legal consequences if he was caught,” the petition states.
The attorney eventually apologized for his crimes, admitting that what he did was wrong and acknowledging how “intimidating and frightening it would be to have a stranger invade your privacy,” the petition reads.
The Disciplinary Board, in recommending the six-month suspension followed by the three years of probation, stated that in this case of first impression, its task was to determine the appropriate level of discipline for an attorney who “marred his spotless disciplinary record by engaging in a bizarre and aberrational course of conduct” that ended with criminal charges being filed against him.