Nine months after he taped himself having sex with his then-girlfriend without her knowledge — and then showed the graphic footage to his Davenport College roommates — Casper Desfeux ’10 received two years of special probation at a New Haven Superior Court on Friday.
As a first-time offender, Desfeux’s criminal record will be expunged if he completes probation and behaves over the next two years. But before Judge Philip Scarpellino issued his decision, he delivered harsh words to the blond, wild-haired Dane.
“I think you should be ashamed of yourself,” Scarpellino said, according to the Hartford Courant. “In this day and age when we’re fighting for our privacy with cameras displayed everywhere, we don’t need them in places where they shouldn’t appear.”
According to the accounts of friends and acquaintances, Desfeux’s proverbial weapon of choice was an Apple MacBook Webcam. His audience? Four roommates. (He confessed this much in sworn testimony.)
When one of the roommates tipped off the girlfriend, who Desfeux came to admit he furtively videotaped, it was no longer a matter of fun and games for the then-twenty-year-old. He was arrested by the New Haven police on two Class D felony charges: voyeurism and dissemination of voyeuristic materials.
After first applying for accelerated rehabilitation in October, police delayed the case in order to analyze Desfeux’s external hard drive. Those delays somehow continued, stretching through June 2008.
Ultimately, one of Desfeux’s saving graces may have been the length of the taped sex episode — 45 minutes. He told police in September that because of its large size, he could not upload the video to the Internet, and thus could not disseminate it to the public.
The student’s legal victory Friday may come as no surprise to New Haven courtwatchers: after all, the omnipresent William Dow III ’63 represented him. Dow, who said the incident “evolved from a misunderstanding,” has a reputation for defending Elis in sticky situations. (His recent clients include Hyder Akbar ’07, who made national headlines for allegedly burning an American flag, and David Light ’09, who was charged last summer with bomb making and weapons possession. He also represented fallen Connecticut Governor John Rowland when the now-jailed leader faced corruption charges.)
Although Desfeux took the spring semester off, he remained an active player in the Yale community — and American political scene — last fall.
According to a report, he organized the October visit of Craig Romney, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s son, to campus.
“Hopefully, people will realize that even if there were some aspect to Mormonism that would make Romney less qualified, it would not affect the presidency or America’s future,” he said in an October e-mail to the News. “Romney is an incredibly charismatic candidate: he fosters confidence everywhere.”
Plus, Desfeux added, “he doesn’t have any skeletons in the closest.”
Correction: Aug. 23, 2013
A previous version of this article and its headline mistakenly stated that a judge sentenced Casper Desfeux to the probationary program known as accelerated rehabilitation. In fact, Desfeux was not sentenced, as accelerated rehabilitation is a program in which charges are dismissed at the end of the probationary period.