Student at UA avoids video voyeurism trial; he must complete sanctions in 1 year

Posted: February 3, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.
Updated: February 5, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE -- A University of Arkansas, Fayetteville student will avoid trial on a charge of video voyeurism so long as he meets requirements over the next year that include completing 100 hours of community service.

Garrett Wolff, 20, of Flower Mound, Texas, had been charged in September with misdemeanor video voyeurism in connection with recording images of sexual activity inside a bathroom stall at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house, Washington County prosecutor Matt Durrett said at the time.

A trial had been set for Friday, but the agreement, filed Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court, states that Wolff will have the criminal charge dismissed if he completes a one-year "diversion period."

In addition to the community service, he must not be charged with any new criminal offense, stay enrolled in a four-year college and maintain a grade-point average of 2.75 or better, according to the order signed by Judge Mark Lindsay and Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mieka Hatcher.

Court documents stated that Wolff on or about Feb. 28 "knowingly photographed a person inside a bathroom stall without their consent, and shared the image."

In a phone interview Friday, Hatcher said that in signing off on the agreement she took into consideration Wolff's lack of a criminal record as well as steps already taken by Wolff that include counseling and community service.

"There were certain conditions that he met, both through the university judicial process as well as things that were provided to my office by his defense counsel," Hatcher said.

The voyeurism charge filed against Wolff, a Class A misdemeanor, carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. John Mikesch, Wolff's attorney, declined to comment Friday.

UA spokesman Steve Voorhies did not provide information about any disciplinary action taken against Wolff.

"We cannot comment on student disciplinary actions," Voorhies said in an email.

The school last year investigated the fraternity as a whole, finding the organization not responsible for sexual harassment and, upon appeal, not responsible for hazing.

UA, however, did find the fraternity responsible for disorderly conduct, serving alcohol to those underage, failing to register a social function as required by school policy, and "conduct which encourages or enables illegal activity and/or a violation of the Code of Student Life."

Sanctions included a ban on social events until mid-December last year and a prohibition on alcohol until May 13. Upon appeal, Chancellor Joe Steinmetz and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Charles Robinson reversed a sanction that would have removed the fraternity from its chapter house.

Metro on 02/03/2018