City man charged with ‘peeping’ gets probation

HOLLIDAYSBURG – An Altoona man who was charged with peeping through a window at a teenage girl in his neighborhood has been placed on probation for two years by Blair County Senior Judge Hiram A. Carpenter.

Despite pleas from the mother of the child and the teenager herself that the man be sent to prison, Carpenter said that in his 25 years as a judge he has never sentenced anyone as old as the suspect, 66, to prison for a misdemeanor of the third degree.

“The conduct is serious and is certainly deserving of sanction,” Carpenter said, but he clarified the court has to be consistent.

He said he has never sent an older person to prison for such an offense.

Carpenter pointed out the defendant, David S. Johns of Altoona has no prior criminal record, another point in favor of probation as opposed to jail time.

The mother presented a statement in which she asked that the judge send a message that minor children have rights.

The girl told the judge that she felt “very violated” by what Johns did in the early morning of Dec. 15.

According to the court documents, she came out of the bathroom of her home and saw the defendant, who lived in her neighborhood, looking into the residence.

City police came and charged Johns with loitering and prowling at night and disorderly conduct.

Johns told police he was under treatment for “voyeurism.”

He apologized in court Friday and said that his medication has been changed to address the problem.

“I do think I have this thing under control,” he stated.