SALT LAKE CITY — An 81-year-old man is facing charges for voyeurism against a child and criminal trespass after parents at a wedding say he crashed the celebration and took inappropriate pictures of their children.
According to a probable cause statement and wedding guests, the incident happened Thursday at the Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City.
“I went up to the bride’s parents, and I said, ‘Do you know this guy?’ and I pointed right at him. They said, ‘No we don’t know him at all,'” said the mother of one of the victims who asked to not be identified to protect her children.
What was supposed to be an occasion for celebration quickly soured for the Utah family who say John Horne showed up at their wedding uninvited and began taking pictures of the children.
“He walked right in front of the DJ table. He was right there. He walked by me, and he was filming my daughter down on her level,” explained the victim’s father who also asked not to be identified to protect their children.
According to a probable cause statement, “several witnesses observed Mr. Horne taking video and pictures of children.”
The witnesses said he sat on a bench near the grandparents of the groom.
According to the probable cause statement Horne was seen, “leaning down in order to take photographs and/or video of the children in what [witnesses] believe to be with their dresses up.”
“It was just crazy that even under our noses something happened. He wasn’t trying to hide it,” said the concerned parents of the victims.
According to the parents, Horne went undetected for about 45 minutes before they realized what was happening. That’s when the children’s father quickly approached Horne and asked for his cell phone which they say he consented to.
“It almost seemed like he was trying to make himself seem like he was an old guy that didn’t know what was going on,” expressed the children’s father.
The parents say they found several pictures and videos on the phone which they deleted. In the meantime, other adults called 911.
“The bride and groom just felt mortified,” said the children’s mother.
“I didn’t even get to see my brother and his bride get in the car and leave. I was sitting with this guy,” shared the children’s father.
Horne was booked with two felony charges for voyeurism against a child under 14 years of age and criminal trespass with intent to annoy or cause injury. University of Utah police say their investigation is on-going, and more charges may come.
“He wasn’t hiding in the bushes. He wasn’t coming from around the corner. He was sitting out in broad daylight with everybody around him,” said the children’s mother.
The parents also expressed their desire to have had more security present at the wedding venue.
“I don’t think they had security,” said the children’s mother.
Although, they say they realize threats come in all forms and ages, which is why they’re sharing their experience.
“Love your kids, and you just have to keep an eye on them,” said the children’s mother. “But you have to live your life. These people are out there but most people are good,” added the children’s father.