A sex worker in Oklahoma who was filmed using a quadcopter by a self-described “video vigilante” has pleaded guilty to a lewdness charge. According to a report from BBC News, the woman was sentenced to a year in state prison for the misdemeanor, although the case is still pending against her alleged client.
The encounter between the two was filmed by drone pilot Brian Bates, a known figure in Oklahoma City who describes himself as a “video vigilante.” Bates has long used video cameras to capture footage of alleged sex workers, which he uploads to his YouTube channel and his website, JohnTV.com, earning money through ad revenue in the process.
Speaking to NewsOK after he captured the footage last August, Bates said that using a drone was the “one of the safest ways to go about my activism.” In the video, he suggests that a green pickup truck following the sex worker and her client is being driven by her pimp, and for that reason he deploys his drone. The video shows the pair apparently engaging in a sex act in the front seat of a truck, before they notice the drone and drive away. Bates told BBC News that this was the only time he’d used a drone in this way, and that it was “very good footage.”