Convinced your ex is up to nefarious deeds? If you’re thinking about planting a recording device in your preschooler’s teddy bear for his next visit to Dad’s pad, you might want to REthink your plans.
William “Duke” Lewton of Nebraska is in the process of suing his ex-wife for bugging their four-year-old’s bear to catch any big secrets revealed during his custody visits. As in, anything she could use against him in court.
Lewton alleges Dianna Divingnzzo or her dad (Lewton’s former father-in-law) slipped a tape recorder into the little girl’s bear, then tried to use the tapes during child custody proceedings in court. Too bad for Divingnzzo, the judge threw them out as inadmissable.
I’m not up on laws in Nebraska, but as a reporter in New York, I’m aware that in order to make a legal recording, at least one party to the conversation has to be aware he or she is being recorded. So if, say, Divingnzzo was caught on tape with Lewton – that part would likely be admissable here (since she knew they were being taped). Any other conversation would be off limits – including Lewton’s talks with his daughter. The judge in the couple’s custody case said even hearing the tapes would be illegal, as was the taping itself.
I feel kind of icky about the people who plop a camera in their kid’s bear to watch the nanny. I can’t imagine making the kid’s toy part of my own plot to limit her time with Daddy. Talk about sullying the innocence of childhood.
The tapes, by the way, revealed nothing more than normal conversations between a father and his little girl, according to a report in the Omaha World-Herald.
The person who thought to rip a head off a kid’s teddy bear, stuff a tape recorder inside and fasten head and body back together, however? Not normal. Not by a long stretch.