Man gets 15 years for video voyeurism
A convicted sex offender is going back to prison — this time for taking pictures of 14- and 15-year-old girls in a bathroom while their mother was away from their home getting treatments for cancer.
Michael Dougherty, 54, of Delray Beach, was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to video voyeurism and other charges.
In their investigation, detectives found Dougherty had taken dozens of photos of the girls, in partial dress and in the nude, according to the arrest report in the case.
Dougherty was already classified as a sex offender due to a 1999 case. But Judge Glenn Kelley said he based his sentencing decision not on the past, but rather on the nature of the crime, and the impact on the victims.
In court, Dougherty entered the guilty pleas to three counts of video voyeurism and three drug charges.
The parents of the two girls addressed the judge.
“Sixteen and 17 now, and (it) still bothers them,” said the father, whose name WPEC isn’t using so as not to identify the two girls.
Prosecutor Justin Hoover told the judge Dougherty’s sex offender status came after a 1999 conviction in Palm Beach County for molesting an 11-year old.
Hoover said Dougherty then violated sex offender probation, by looking into a neighbor’s window.
Dougherty served several stints in state prison, mostly for drug offenses.
Hoover said Dougherty had not learned his lesson and asked for a 15-year sentence.
However, Dougherty’s attorney, Elizabeth Pohm, sought a prison term of just over four years, the minimum spelled out under state sentencing guidelines.
In pronouncing the penalty, Judge Kelley said two young girls had been violated when these pictures were taken.
The mother of the two girls told the judge she hoped Dougherty would get help in prison, so he would not harm others, again, when he got out.