Man found guilty of window peeping ‘doing well’ on probation
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
A former Cloquet man convicted a year ago of peeping in his neighbor’s window at a young girl had a successful review hearing Monday.
Richard Allen Paul, 57, of Cloquet had pleaded guilty in Carlton County District Court with “interference with privacy” on March 14, 2012. The charge — a felony because the person whose privacy was violated was a minor — accused Paul of intentionally intruding upon or interfering with the privacy of a member of a household and wrongfully interfering with the privacy of a member of the household.
According to the criminal complaint, the homeowner and Paul’s neighbor discovered Paul outside his home at 11:30 p.m. June 14, 2011. Paul was wearing a black ski mask, tan shirt and jeans and crouched down on all fours peering into a juvenile girl’s bedroom window. When the homeowner confronted him, Paul said something about trying to find his dogs.
After telling Paul to get off his property, the homeowner called the police, then got in his car and followed Paul to his home, at that point realizing the identity of the intruder. Police arrived and searched Paul’s home and found the ski mask, clothing and a loaded handgun — Paul admitted to police he had a firearm on his hip at the time he was outside the window — as well as night vision goggles.
At the sentencing, Paul, who was director of Behavior Services for Essentia Health in Duluth before he was arrested, made a statement apologizing to the victims’ family, his neighbors and the community.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t regret my actions,” Paul told the court a year ago. “Not a day goes by that I don’t pray for [the family], that God gives them relief from the pain I gave to them.”
Between his arrest and sentencing, Paul completed a 60-day residential addiction treatment program at Hazelden and follow-up treatment, entered counseling and attended Alcoholics Anonymous.
Carlton County Judge Robert Macaulay sentenced Paul to a staggered sentence of 120 days in jail — four times the recommended sentence — with 30 days to be served starting immediately after sentencing.
At the time, Macaulay said Paul would have to appear in court approximately every six months so the judge could confirm he was meeting all the terms of his probation. Additional 30-day increments could be stayed provided Paul followed his 21 probation conditions.
If not, even if Paul had a “technical violation,” Macaulay said he would have to serve another 30 days.
Paul has not had to serve any more time in jail since the initial time.
Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler said the probation department reported Monday that Paul was “doing well” and doing everything that was expected of him under the terms of his probation.
As a result, the judge said he would not require Paul to appear for any more review hearings, although he did keep the file open.
“He is still on probation but he won’t be supervised by the probation department,” Pertler explained.
Since his arrest and sentencing, both Paul and the family whose privacy he violated have moved away from Cloquet.