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Ashland man pleads guilty to taking 'upskirting' photos

An Ashland man accused of secretly taking photographs up a woman's skirt pleaded guilty Friday and acknowledged he'd been "upskirting" women for months.

John Edward Lucier, Jr., 36, of the 200 block of Meyer Creek Road, Ashland, admitted Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court to using a smartphone app to take photographs of a 21-year-old woman going through bins at the Ashland Recycling Center in mid-October.

The incident wasn't his first time. Lucier told police he had been photographing up women's skirts from April until he turned himself in to Ashland police Oct. 15.

"He was photographing four to five women a day," prosecutor David Orr told Judge Lorenzo Mejia.

Lucier would pretend to need something next to women in Ashland and Medford grocery stores and other public places, then place his phone up the victims' skirts. He used a phone app set to silently capture photos automatically at the rate of approximately one a second.

Orr said Lucier seemed genuinely remorseful.

"He tried to quit multiple times and couldn't," Orr said, adding later, "He genuinely wants to stop."

Mejia sentenced Lucier to three years' probation, sex offender treatment and 128 hours of community service for one misdemeanor charge of invasion of personal privacy. The violation is currently not a sex offense but will be starting Jan. 1, and Lucier won't have to register as a sex offender unless recommended by his probation officer.

"I know what I did was wrong and I hurt people," Lucier told Mejia.

Mejia asked Lucier whether all photos were destroyed.

"I did destroy them," Lucier said. "I was ashamed and wanted to put them behind me."

Orr said that because Lucier was so forthcoming, the prosecution didn't believe Lucier was trying to tamper with the investigation when he wiped his phone.

"His intent was not to keep us from prosecuting it," Orr said.

Mejia ordered Lucier not to contact the victim, and advised him not to approach other victims to apologize.

"That'd just create a lot of distress for them," Mejia said.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at nmorgan@mailtribune.com.