CRIME

81-year-old man allegedly crashed wedding and took pictures of children, now faces felony charges

Aug 17, 2019, 7:52 PM | Updated: 11:37 pm
John Horne (Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office)
(Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – An 81-year-old man allegedly crashed a wedding and took inappropriate pictures of some children on Thursday. He is facing felony charges for voyeurism against a child and criminal trespass.

The actions reportedly turned a wedding celebration into a crime scene.

Uninvited guest

The criminal activity allegedly took place at Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City, according to witnesses and the probable cause statement.

The probable cause statement says several witnesses saw what the 81-year-old man was doing.

The man, John Horne, crashed the wedding and began taking pictures of certain children with his phone.

The mother of one of the victims, who remains unidentified to protect her children, says that she recognized the man as someone who didn’t belong at the celebration.

“I went up to the bride’s parents and I said, ‘do you know this guy?’ and I pointed right at him. They said, ‘no we don’t know him at all,” the mother said.

The father of one of the victims also saw Horne recording the children.

“He walked right in front of the DJ table. He was right there, he walked by me and he was filming my daughter down on her level,” explained the victim’s father, who also asked to remain unidentified.

Witnesses say he was recording young flower girls in their dresses, including some girls who were rolling around on the floor.

One of the fathers told KSL TV that it’s hard to get young children to stop doing things like that.

Hiding out in the open

Horne allegedly was “leaning down in order to take photographs and/or video of the children in what [witnesses] believe to be with their dresses up,” according to the probable cause statement.

Horne was reportedly at the wedding celebration for about 45 minutes.

Realizing what he was doing and that he didn’t belong there, the party called 911. The families detained Horne until police arrived.

At this point, witnesses say, Horne began to act like he was unaware of what he was doing.

“It was just crazy that even under our noses something happened. He wasn’t trying to hide it,” said a concerned parent of one of the victims.

“It almost seemed like he was trying to make himself seem like he was an old guy that didn’t know what was going on,” says one the children’s fathers.

The incident caused a brother of the groom to miss seeing the newlyweds depart from the celebration.

“I didn’t even get to see my brother and his bride get in the car and leave, I was sitting with this guy,” he says.

The parents say they deleted multiple pictures and videos that Horne allegedly took at the scene.

Ongoing investigation

Police took Horne into custody. Horne is charged with two felony charges. One charge is for voyeurism against a child under 14 years of age. The second charge is for criminal trespass with intent to annoy or cause injury.

University of Utah police say its investigation is still ongoing. The police say more charges may come against Horne.

The parents at the wedding have a message for others.

“Love your kids and you just have to keep an eye on them,” the children’s mother says.

“But you have to live your life. These people are out there but most people are good,” the children’s father adds.

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81-year-old man allegedly crashed wedding and took pictures of children, now faces felony charges