Well-known photographer pleads out in video voyeurism case

Mario Peralta III pleads guilty to video voyeurism; child porn charges dropped

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A well-known photographer pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a 2015 video voyeurism arrest.

Mario Peralta III was arrested in May 2015 by Jacksonville Beach police on a charge of video voyeurism after the father of a 16-year-old girl discovered he had taken nude pictures of her with a hidden mini-camera. A second charge of video voyeurism was added, involving a 17-year-old girl.

Peralta was later charged with nine counts of child pornography and nine counts of illegal use of a two-way communication device.

On Feb. 28, he pleaded guilty to both charges of video voyeurism on someone younger than 19 and all counts of the illegal use of a two-way communication device. The child porn charges were dropped.

Peralta was sentenced to four years in prison, followed by five years' probation. He gets credit for nearly three years served in the Duval County jail, which means he’ll get out of prison in 2019.

Since the child porn charges were dropped, he will not have to register as a sexual offender.

"He is not registered, as we would use that term," attorney Gene Nichols, who is not affiliated with the case, told News4Jax on Tuesday. "But there is no question that he is receiving the punishment of anybody who is similarly situated with a charge does receive sex offender probation."

Once Peralta is released from prison, the conditions of his probation include that he cannot have unsupervised contact with anyone under 18 years old, he cannot possess a computer or pornography, he cannot work as photographer or take photos of people, he must submit to an annual polygraph test and he will be subject to warrantless searches.

Nichols said those are all terms common in sex offender probation.

"Even though he may not be on the (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) website as a registered sex offender in the grand scheme, he will always be marked for this," Nichols said. "There will be no hiding or running from us as he is now a convicted felon and has multiple years of probation with incredibly difficult tasks that he has to complete on probation."

Peralta is still in the state prison intake process, going through the medical process. Once that is complete, he will be assigned to a prison to serve out his sentence.