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peeping tom

n. a person who stealthily peeks into windows, holes in restroom walls or other openings with the purpose of getting a sexual thrill from seeing women or girls undressed or couples making love. The term comes from the legendary Tom who was the one person who peeked when Lady Godiva rode her horse naked through the streets of Coventry to protest taxes. Being a peeping tom is treated as a crime based on sexual deviancy, with various names in different states. It forms the basis for a lawsuit by the victim on the basis of invasion of privacy.


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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications