Chicken-Fried News: Upskirt charges

Fried chicken drumstick in isolated white background

Web browser history can be dangerous.

It doesn’t have to be. Stay on the company email and websites linked to work assignments with the occasional YouTube video of cute mini pigs; you’ve got nothing to fear. Google “what information will be pulled from phone when law enforcement scnas (sic) it” and “how to completely wipe a phone,” and you’ve got trouble, especially if the authorities want to talk with you.

Why search those particular topics?

In the case of Travis Brauer, a former aide to Gov. Mary Fallin, Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) was investigating allegations he took an “upskirt” photo or video at the Oklahoma Capitol during a May 23 legislative meeting.

According to NonDoc, who paged through OHP’s 256-page report, Brauer attended a crowded House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget meeting in May. Troopers said that a witness reported Brauer — seated on the floor — had taken either a photo or video up a woman’s dress. The woman was an activist who was present to advocate lawmakers raise the state’s gross production tax. The phone was placed an arm’s length away from Brauer and next to the foot of the victim, a witness told OHP.

In late May, when OHP asked Brauer to willingly submit his personal cell phone for forensic analysis, Brauer answered he would after a three-day weekend at the lake. After Brauer said he lost the phone at the lake, he voluntarily submitted his laptop to OHP.

More than 200 gigabytes of data were forensically downloaded from Brauer’s computer, which included data from his cell phone, according to NonDoc.

Data showed Brauer had taken Snapchat images before and after the meeting, but a one-hour period of activity was missing from the phone’s records. Witness statements had described Brauer taking photos during the meeting, NonDoc reported.

The OHP report states that Brauer admitted he had been intoxicated before the Capitol meeting. Snapchat videos from the computer suggest that Brauer and another former Fallin aide were drinking alcohol that night. One caption read “#Chug #Budget OKLAHOMA STATE CAPITOL, Oklahoma City, OK.”

Last week, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed charges against Brauer. The 29-year-old Oklahoma City resident was charged with one felony count of offering false or fraudulent evidence and one misdemeanor count of destroying evidence, according to Tulsa World.

We at Chicken-Fired News believe there is a lesson in all this. To prevent such problematic web search history and cell phone forensic analysis, just don’t be a Peeping Tom.

Gazette Staff

This article was written by the Oklahoma Gazette staff. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story headline in your subject line.

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