Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Registered sex offender pleads guilty to secret peeping

Gabriel Gerold

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A Texas man pleaded guilty Aug. 2 in the New Hanover County Criminal Superior Court. Forty-nine-year-old Gabriel Jessie Gerold admitted to secretly using cameras to capture images underneath women’s clothing and for failing to to disclose two emails as a registered sex offender in New Hanover County.

Gerold also admitted to a prior conviction he received in Charlotte — a secret peeping offense that raised his felony conviction from a class I to H felony. On its own accord, it can carry a maximum sentence of 39 months in prison.

According to a release from the district attorney’s office, Judge Frank Jones sentenced Gerold to a minimum 36 months and maximum of 68 months prison time. The felon will be registered a sex offender for rest of his life and may not contact the victim ever.  

Gerold was convicted Jan. 27, 2020, in Mecklenburg County. He was charged with one count of “possessing an image that was taken in violation of the secret peeping statute.” He was on supervised probation and transferred to New Hanover County during that time.

A probationary condition include prohibiting Gerold from owning a device that could record images. Yet, his probation officer found a smartphone in Gerold’s possession and upon examining it found 13 videos taken from under women’s skirts and clothing.

“The recordings appear to have been taken without the consent or knowledge of the women,” a press release stated. 

New Hanover Sheriff’s Department detectives, in collaboration with the county probation and parole units identified a victim. She confirmed she had no knowledge nor gave consent to the videos be recorded. 

“This type of sexually intrusive secret photography is so upsetting and concerning,” lead prosecutor Connie Jordan said. “It took this offender only a few seconds to place his phone near the women to capture clear recordings underneath their clothes indicating that he has been engaging in this behavior for some time.” 

Upon Georld’s release, he could get an additional 36-68 months in prison for not complying with extreme probation rules. He will be required to abide by them under the sex offender control program for 60 months, which mandates mental health and substance abuse evaluations as well as following treatment recommendations.

“He is not allowed to possess a device with which the image of another can be captured,” the release added.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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