Crime

Rock Hill ‘peeping Tom’ takes plea, sentenced to 18 months

Rock Hill’s alleged serial peeping Tom was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison.

Travis Cousar, 33, pleaded no contest to a June incident where a terrified new mother warming milk for her infant looked out her kitchen window and saw Cousar staring back at her.

Cousar, a registered sex offender who has a criminal record of drug, property and other crimes dating back to 1998, was convicted of peeping in 2011 but was suspected in at least 18 reported incidents over the years, Rock Hill police have said in court.

Just two weeks ago, Cousar was convicted of failure to register as a sex offender after living at addresses that were not on file with police – when he was not in jail – after his 2011 peeping conviction.

Cousar offered no apologies for the June crime in court Monday. But he did say, “I don’t have to say nothin’,” in accepting the no-contest plea. This means he does not have to admit guilt, but the plea’s consequences are the same as a guilty plea.

Cousar was set to go to trial Monday on a charge of aggravated voyeurism – peeping with a lewd intention – but prosecutors offered the deal of the lesser charge of peeping because the terrified victim didn’t want to testify in court about the horrors of looking out the window at midnight and seeing Cousar peeping in the window, said Erin Joyner, 16th Circuit assistant solicitor.

Cousar could have faced up to five years in prison if convicted of the aggravated charge.

Cousar’s lawyer, assistant public defender Creighton Hayes, said in court he agreed with the negotiated deal for 18 months on the peeping charge that carries a three-year maximum. Presiding Circuit Judge Brian Gibbons of Chester accepted the negotiated deal.

The June incident was so brazen that Cousar allegedly was caught by the victim’s brother next door after the woman shrieked. Cousar claimed to be next door for a legitimate reason, and he even went back hours later to try to retrieve the bicycle he had ridden to the crime scene.

Cousar had been released on bond from domestic violence and resisting arrest charges just seven hours before he was accused of peeping, and he was allegedly wearing the same shirt with a red collar when ogling the woman through the window that he was wearing when he was released from jail.

The victim and others who chased Cousar in June picked him out of a police photo lineup. Police found Cousar a few days later, hiding in a Rock Hill home.

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