ACORN Sting Filmmaker May Face State Charges

If convicted, O'Keefe faces five years in prison

By Asha Beh
|  Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010  |  Updated 8:00 AM EDT
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ACORN Sting Filmmaker May Face State Charges

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ACORN employees may not have had the best advice for two people acting like a pimp and a prostitute, but the "pimp" may have done something illegal too.

James O'Keefe's foray into filmmaking may cost him a few years in the slammer.

O'Keefe and fellow conservative activist/budding investigative journalist Hannah Giles were the ones who dressed up like a pimp and a prostitute, respectively (or not), and went to the offices of the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) in D.C. and Baltimore looking for advice on how to buy a house.

The resulting video caused quite a commotion and resulted in the firing of four ACORN employees, as well as other repercussions for those who support the organization. 

In Maryland, it's against the law to tape a person without their prior permission. It's also illegal to "willfully use or willfully disclose the content of said audio," Baltimore City State Attorney Patricia Jessamy said in a statement released late Friday.

She added: "The penalty for the unlawful interception, disclosure or use of it is a felony punishable up to five years."

The Baltimore City State Attorney's Office is investigating the matter.

UPDATE: On Feb. 19, 2010, Giles said that O'Keefe never went inside ACORN's offices in a pimp costume. "“We never claimed that he went in with a pimp costume,” she told the Washington Independent. “That was b-roll. It was purely b-roll."

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