‘Peeping Tom’ gets life in prison
A Brewton “peeping tom” was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for breaking in and watching into the homes of his “fantasy girlfriends.”
Grover Cleveland Baggett, 28, was convicted this March for attempted burglary I, a Class B felony, and a misdemeanor criminal surveillance in two separate 2011 cases and another in 2010.
Baggett, who was represented by C. Daniel White, admitted during sentencing that he never intended to hurt his victims.
“It gave me satisfaction,” Baggett told Circuit Judge Dave Jordan. “I had no intent to harm her. I had just spent 14 months in the county jail – a place that caused me a lot of pain.
“I looked at her to relieve my pain,” Baggett said as he testified about breaking and entering the bedroom of an Escambia Avenue home in July 2011. “In my mind, I realized the fantasy of her being my girlfriend.”
Testimony showed moments later Baggett was arrested when a Douglas Lane property owner held him at gunpoint after he was spotted peeping into the home’s bathroom window. The homeowner said he saw Baggett as he was taking out the trash.
Dr. Robert DeFrancisco, who testified Baggett has a clinical diagnosis of voyeurism and anti-social personality disorder, posed a danger to himself and others.
“(Baggett) is not a pedophile, but is excited by the viewing,” DeFrancisco said, and called those suffering the diagnosis as “problematic to society.” “He is at risk to hurt himself and possibly rape…I do not recommend him to be in the free world.”
A female victim, from another incident, testified that, after nearly five years since the break-in, she remains scared.
“Since that night, my life has not been fun,” she said. “Any bump at night – it’s hard to sleep. I’m scared to death. It’s still terrifying at times to know what is out there.”
While Baggett testified he was sexually abused as a child, District Attorney Steve Billy said, “that’s no excuse” for the behavior and that since the incidents Baggett has not sought medical help for his issues.
“(Baggett) is not sorry; he’s just sorry he got caught,” Billy said. “There’s no telling how many times he has done this. He knew what he was doing. He is not going to quit.”
And Jordan agreed, sentencing Baggett to the department of corrections and to seek treatment, if available, while in prison.
“Like anyone else who has anything bad happen to them in the past, it does not excuse criminal behavior,” Jordan said. “It’s not a defense. It’s tragic.
“Not only have you continued to escalate in this behavior to satisfy this desire you have of gratification, it has the possibility to become more dangerous. From what I have heard your behavior will escalate.”
Baggett’s family testified on his behalf and stated they hope he receives help.
Baggett was also ordered to pay court costs, restitution and fees.
Baggett was originally booked in July 24, 2011, on charges of burglary II, two counts of criminal trespass, two counts of criminal surveillance involving three separate victims and remained in jail until he pled on Sept. 12, 2012. He committed the attempted burglary I and criminal surveillance offenses on Sept. 27, 2012. He was arrested at the scene on Green Avenue on Sept. 27, 2012, and has remained in jail since that time.