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Posted on Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor pediatrician one of few in Washtenaw County charged with surveilling an unclothed person

By Lee Higgins

Dr. Howard Weinblatt, the pediatrician accused of watching out his bathroom window as a 12-year-old neighbor changed clothing in her bedroom closet, is the fourth person to be charged by Washtenaw County prosecutors with surveilling an unclothed person since the law took effect in 2004, records show.

And Weinblatt, 65, is the first to be accused of committing the offense inside his own home.

Thumbnail image for howard bruce weinblatt.jpg

Weinblatt recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the county prosecutor's office and obtained a list of all cases in which people have been charged with surveilling an unclothed person.

Three men have been convicted of the felony offense, one of whom was charged with it on three occasions, court records show. A fourth man was charged with attempted surveilling of an unclothed person, which is a misdemeanor, but prosecutors dismissed the case.

Weinblatt, who is on leave from IHA Child Health - Ann Arbor, is accused of watching out his bathroom window on four occasions between Oct. 18 and Oct. 31 while the girl changed her clothing in her walk-in closet. Her house is 11 feet from Weinblatt's home on Olivia Avenue in Ann Arbor. On one occasion, police said the girl's mother left out an iPad and recorded a video of Weinblatt peeping while he appeared to be masturbating. The girl has been a patient of Weinblatt's since she was born.

Under Michigan law, it's illegal to "surveil another individual who is clad only in his or her undergarments, the unclad genitalia or buttocks of another individual, or the unclad breasts of a female individual under circumstances in which the individual would have a reasonable expectation of privacy." According to the law, surveillance means to “secretly observe the activities of another person for the purpose of spying upon and invading the privacy of the person observed.”

Weinblatt is charged with four counts of surveilling an unclothed person and two counts of window peeping and is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing January 12. He is out on a promise to appear.

Records show the most recent conviction for surveilling an unclothed person was more than two years ago.

In July 2009, 24-year-old Paul Truett of Allen Park was sentenced to 30 days in a jail work program after pleading guilty to surveilling an unclothed person. He admitted that in January of 2008, he reached over a wall at a Scio Township tanning salon and used his cell phone to take a single photograph of a woman undressing.

In 2008, Michael Manzano was sentenced to probation under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act after being convicted of surveilling an unclothed person, records show. While he was a student at the University of Michigan, he looked up under a shower stall in a university dormitory while a woman was showering.

The following year, the 19-year-old Manzano was charged on two occasions with surveilling an unclothed person after Ann Arbor police said he twice attempted to break into a woman's home through her bedroom window to talk to her. The woman knew him and described him as a friend. One on of those occasions, records say the woman was asleep with her boyfriend and they were dressed only in their undergarments. In one case, Manzano was sentenced to two years probation after pleading no contest to attempted third-degree home invasion and stalking. Prosecutors dismissed the other case.

In November 2007, 42-year-old Gary Carr of Dearborn Heights was sentenced to a year in jail and five years probation after pleading no contest to two counts of surveilling an unclothed person. Carr entered a women’s restroom in December 2006 at a movie theater at Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor while two girls, ages 8 and 11, were by themselves in stalls. The girls saw him peering at them through the cracks in the stalls as they were partially undressed. He tried to get into one of the stalls by touching the door.

Records show one man has faced the misdemeanor charge of attempted surveilling of an unclothed person. In October 2007, a 28-year-old Dexter man was charged with the offense, accused of looking under a bathroom stall at a 4-year-old girl who was with her father in a men's restroom at a Scio Township grocery store. The man charged was a special needs employee at the grocery store and was mentally impaired. Prosecutors dismissed the case.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at


Tony Dearing

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Commenting on this story has been closed temporarily.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

The law states "reasonable expectation of privacy"....unobstructed views of windows in areas of expected bedrooms and bathrooms remove an expectation of privacy.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 8:13 p.m.

As a mother I find the whole story highly suspect and I agree that this man should not be plastered all over the internet until he is proven guilty.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

Just a sad excuse to post this man's face on the website yet again! This man who is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. It feels like a witch- hunt to me & it's obvious people are getting angry over this type of reporting. If you wanted to report these facts that don't even 100% directly relate to this individual's case or situation it could have been done in a different way. Each case is very different and should not be lumped together just because.. What a shame.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

I just don't understand why the majority of these responses seem to focus on the abstract legalities in this case, reporting policies and standards of journalism when the giant, white elephant in the room is a doctor who may, or may not, have been watching a little girl undress. Am I the only one reading who is concerned about this? Has the doctor come out and said definitively that he was not looking at her? If so, how does he explain this video that the police and prosecutor also have seen? If any of this is true, if he was looking through his window at a half-naked twelve year old, the doctor has a serious problem and the legality of his actions are, at best, an anecdotal discussion. He'd be better off addressing what, exactly, he was doing instead of trying to tap dance through a legal construct reviewing the definition of peeping and where exactly one needs to be. And if he can't address that, he should be begging the courts to get him some help. You think is creepy....having your neighbor staring out of their window doing what the complaint alleges is nothing short of grotesque.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

I think people are concerned indeed. With that being said, most people who have competent lawyers are told not to speak with the media. This is my guess to why he hasn't come out and spoken publicly. Whens the last time you had your life in the hands of a judge or jury and you came out running your mouth claiming innocence before going to trial, probably never? The fact of the matter is we have little facts and are waiting for trial, and is doing no person justice by posting this story.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

What an interesting point of view.... hmm. I think I agree!


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

In previous articles I have used this case to make a comparison to the book 'To Kill a Mockingbird", and that post was removed. I then made referrence to the case of the Duke Lacrosse players, and that post was removed. So once again I will raise the point, how can your policy omit/delete comments when, because no one has been convicted, raise question to who the actual victim is?

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

What is the object to publish these stats? I'm not sure I understand. The only thing that has been established is that Weinblatt is the only person allegedly caught peeping from his own bathroom. Given all the other cases, is it plausible that his accuser may have mistakenly fingered him?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

I think the point is to show that they're using a rarely used law and applying it to a unique situation. And whether or not that will fly when it gets to court. That will be the real test. No doubt his behavior was beyond creepy if it's all true but illegal? Not so sure...


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

Perhaps if the information had been utilized in an article about the case rather than randomly placed it would have been better received. There is sure to be an article the day before the hearing announcing the start and giving a recap of the case thus far. Perhaps placement in that article would have been relevant to the content and the timeline. To publish it for the sake of filling space does seem incendiary.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 5:46 p.m.

I thank Lee Higgins for this article. I did my own computer research that showed only a handful of these cases were reported in the Michigan Court of Appeals since the statute was enacted in 2004. I think Brian Mackie's office has a notoriously weak case and that the District Judge will dismiss it. One more reason to vote Prosecutor Brian Mackie out of office in 2012.

Dog Guy

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

Roadman writes, "One more reason to vote Prosecutor Brian Mackie out of office in 2012." But if I ever committed a crime, I would want Brian Mackie and nobody else to prosecute me.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

This is beyond cheap journalism, it's aim is sensationalism and is certainly becoming more and more a trade mark of AA.Com There is so much more to this situation with the physician than what is being reported and because the coverage on this is so shallow it should not have been published at all. Where is the Editor?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6:52 p.m.

Please do tell, if you have "inside" information.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

Probably applauding that the reporter is being so thorough. I mean, really?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

You seem to know a lot about this case. Why not publish that information on the Wall? Of course, publishing hearsay vs verifiable facts would open the door to a law suit.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

I find it amazing at how many people are so outraged that this is being reported. I mean, wouldn't you want to know about what this guy has been arrested for if he were your pediatrician? I would! And I am glad to see the detail in the follow up. Thank you, Mr Higgins. That said, what he's being charged with is hinky, IMHO. If everything reported is accurate, he's a creep, for sure. But he was in the privacy of his own home. And all the other examples of those charged with the same crime were people who were snooping under doors, over walls, etc. Not really the same circumstance. That's what should be discussed. But being outraged that it's being followed up on? Oh, please. Ya'll will complain about anything.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6:50 p.m.

Michigan Man I agree with you. Well said. But I still feel that used poor judgement in dredging this article up. It does seem like they are just fanning the fires for their own purposes a bit. Or their honest intentions backfired on them.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

I find it difficult to consider this a "follow-up" article, since it reveals little, if any, new developments pertinent to the relevant case of Dr. W. In fact, the fact of the preliminary hearing set for January 12 was already reported last month! This whole article reeks of yellow journalism and tooting its own horn for the sole purpose of maintaining an audience. That's what the outrage is about - the presentation of "news" in the absence of it!

Michigan Man

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

Barb - I am with you on this one - let it play out in the courts - If my neighbor, regardless of perceived community status, was a peeping tom and then masterbating in front of the person he was stalking (especially an adolescent girl) I would also be a bit pissed off as a responsible parent - Those that have posted their disgust on this forum must have "inside" information the general public does not have. Many of those who have commented have already come to their own conclusions - they, of course, will not be selected for jury duty in this case.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

Is it possible to click the "report abuse" button and indicate the abuser is


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

1. Just FYI: the legality of activities done on one's own property with/without concealment is determined by the effect it may have on others. If the activity can be recorded by the plaintiff and it shows malicious intent and planning, then the court must decide if the recording is legal evidence. 2. Investigators and prosecutors also must proceed with regard to the rights of the accused. They must establish that charges are well grounded. 3. Once charges are filed, they are a matter of record and news organizations can and do publish such information. We all know that accused minors are protected to a greater degree from exposure than adults when accused and convicted. And so are victims, be they minor or adult. 4. When the trial judge thinks there may be too much publicity bearing on a case, the location of the trial may be changed to a more neutral location and they may limit access (short of making it a secret trial). Pretty much all of the above is yet to be known in this case. Those presuming either innocence or guilt are both prejudicial. We only know that someone will lose, depending on the outcome of the court trial. As for news coverage: it's provided to inform the public and does not force anyone to premature conclusions. It's only peculiar that so many people don't want us to know about outcomes in similar cases.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

I find it amazing that my comment was removed. The article discusses SEVERAL people who have been charged in Washtenaw county with violating a Michigan law about surveilling an unclothed person in circumstances where there is a "reasonable expectation of privacy". My comment was a GENERAL comment about "reasonable expectation of privacy" in the context of the law. Are we no longer allowed to discuss Michigan laws on


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

In short, the answer is an obvious no! they dont care that you spent time logging on and reading the article. they dont care about your opinion. they care about one thing, $$$$$$$$$$

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:36 p.m. guys are really creepy.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

I believe (as it appears do many others) that your article has violated your own "conversation guidelines" and should be removed.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

The continuing articles by this so-called "reporter" regarding this incident speaks loudly about his ethics. It is OK to continue to tear down this doctor and try to convict him in the court of public opinion. The continuing censoring of comments by staff, speaks volumes about their ethics. This is pure sensationalism with no sense of right or wrong. Ann ought to be ashamed of themselves. This doctor is as much a victim as the child. The man was in his own house. It is now a crime to look out the window in your own house! Is it the attitude of Ann that keeps me from buying this worthless paper. Is it any wonder that it is failing? Wake up! I realize this will probably get censored but I am posting this anyway!

Rose Garden

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

How could a comment that was removed because it violated's conversation guidelines be the third most popular comment?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:38 p.m.

because the people have spoken, they are sick of the way it has been covered by and their conversation guidelines, the most liked comment says it all, this article is provoking and was written to generate clicks.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

...must be a really slow day for news. should be above such stuff. This, itself, is another example of some writer's own voyeurism.

average joe

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Not only has this entire 'story' been over done by, but now they are wasting the county's time by filing a FOI request in an effort to help their 'hit' total. I suggest file FOI requests for more useful topics, than to throw more dirt on the "innocent until proven guilty".


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

Ann Arbor dot com ------------------ hung by its own petard

Cindy Heflin

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

Comments that violated our conversation guidelines have been removed. On crime stories we ask readers not to post comments that blame the alleged victim. For more about the handling of comments on this particular thread, please refer to this article: <a href=""></a>


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

I'm not late. I'm just now getting around to being annoyed enough at these comments to post.'s moderation is as consistent as it can be given that all situitons are different and humans aren't perfect - if you don't like the system, suggest another.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

@ nvragain: &quot;This is the 3rd or 4th article written on this topic&quot; Eight. Click on the tag &quot;Howard Weinblatt&quot; and count; there were eight, including this one. &quot; and nothing new has been added&quot; Agreed. At this point the two main news items are the persistence with which the same content is rehashed and the selectivity of comment moderation.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

Barb, I honestly think people are upset with what comments have been removed and the reasoning behind the deletions. Just because you accuse someone of a crime does not mean you are a victim, nor does it mean the person you accused of the said crime is guilty. Barb, you are late to the party. This is the 3rd or 4th article written on this topic and nothing new has been added, other than what was today, and those cases have no relevance to this case other than the prosecutor seems to be using that law to prosecute Dr. Weinblatt. Just because he is a defendant, does not exclude him from being a possible victim of a crime.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6:09 p.m.

Unbelievable. You guys are faulting the wrong people. is only reporting what the prosecutor is charging the pediatrician with. That makes him the defendant - not a victim. If you have issue with that, take it to the prosecutor.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

Sophomoric journalism....

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

Don't your rules ban saying that someone is guilty when they haven't been tried and convicted? Something about &quot;alleged&quot; and all? Well, I suggest you go back and delete the article, and then delete the staff comments, which clearly are in contravention of your own rules.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

it is obvious that there is now a majority or readers/commenters that disagree with not only your style of journalism but your moderation guidelines.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

Who is the victim? Seriously, please let us know how you are defining this? Videotaping someone in his own home is also victimization.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

That blame the &quot;alleged&quot; victim, don't you mean? Because at this point that's all the story is - some number of allegations. You can't have it both ways, although sure keeps trying ...


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

A nasty, nasty piece of unnecessary posting--I would not dignify this with the word &quot;journalism.&quot; You are sinking so low that you will soon disappear from sight and you may not even be missed.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Really? Does a person not have a &quot;reasonable expectation of privacy&quot; in his own bathroom? At first I thought you were just doing your job, but this has gone way too far.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

This article is accomplishing exactly what it is designed to do. It is generating page views, no more, no less. Controversy generates interest, interest generates page views.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6 p.m.

&quot;Yellow journalism&quot; means no research has been done. So, that doesn't really apply here. Oh, the irony.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

Hearst and Pulitzer made fortunes off this kind of yellow journalism. It's great to see improvement whenever you, uh, find, uh....never mind.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

the only thing you can do is stop clicking. my new years resolution was to stop clicking but like an addicition, this article had me coming back for more


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

I thought under the Youth Training Act, the records were forever sealed. Thanks for violating that. I guess the real story here is how often non cases are being pursued. Dragging the mentally impaired person into court? Smearing someone's reputation for looking out ones window? Is there a case with a woman taking videos of someone allegedly masturbating?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

aataxpayer, you have to stay out of trouble to have your records sealed. Manzano was convicted in 2008 and was arrested the following year for other crimes. He violated the terms of his probation. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

I wondered about that myself. If the doctor allegedly committed a crime here, wouldn't the mother have committed the same crime by recording the doctor in his bathroom?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

Really I mean really???


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

How many were prosecuted for looking out their own window? Big zero. Just like this worthless article.

Perry Samson

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

Headline: Ann Arbor News one of few in Washtenaw County charged with stalking an unconvicted person


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

Perhaps,, it would have been prudent to withhold this &quot;story&quot; until after Dr. W's hearing later this month. As it is, you're comparing apples and oranges. Unlike the cases you present for comparison (with the exception of the mentally challenged individual in Scio Twp), Dr. W has yet to be tried or sentenced.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

Your point is valid but that's not the responsibility of the press. They shouldn't be making judgment calls as to whether the charges make sense or not. They're just reporting what's happening. You act like that's wrong. It's not.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

Need some page hits, eh?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

surveilling!! Please use spell check or look up words you don't know in the dictionary. This is your profession.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

Wait, so if they are discussing a LEGAL term, the journalist should change it to coincide with YOUR sense of what is grammatically correct? Give me a break. You were schooled. Admit you failed to make a valid point and move on


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Sorry, according to the law I am wrong. However, I am still not sure that makes it right.

Steve Pepple

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

That is the language from the official charge.

Are you serious?

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

Actually I think this article is helpful in pointing out that the current case appears to be weaker and different than the earlier ones that seem deliberate and with intent - at least with what is know in the public record. It would be interesting to know if there is any case in MI where the accused was looking out the window of their own house. Maybe can do a few more FOIA requests to some other counties to provide some perspective.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.



Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

let the guy go to trial if he does. i am woundering if what was stated is true. let the courts deside. not the news.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

And if this article was truly about previous offenders, where are THEIR pictures?? Yeah, I know I can go look them up. Why not post them like you did Dr. W's...AGAIN.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

And the point that commenters are now making is that this ISN'T news. There is no reason for this article other than to re-ignite the 'story' about Dr. W. again.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

Posting Dr. Weinblatt's photo here is pure sensationalism. I don't know the guy. I don't feel sorry for him. Take it down. As someone has already pointed out, this is a non-story.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

I don't understand how has already decided who the victim is? Why was this article published? To victimize Dr. Weinblatt?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

&quot;Why&quot; is a more interesting question to ponder than &quot;how&quot;. It looks like that someone is very interested in accomplishing the goal you suggested.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

In the old days, he would have been tarred &amp; feathered, then run out of town. I guess we really haven't changed that much.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

I don't know. You see, I have just read your piece through - twice. I don't see any reason for it being published other than to stir the pot of public (moral) opinion again the accused in this case. The accused has now firmly been placed in good company on offender's row. Good job So much for a fair trial.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

against. typo.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

I'm not sure the article serves a real purpose other than to be incendiary.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

I am sure just wanted to keep the public informed of judicial precendent. They are one of my go-tos for news when it comes to fair and balanced, well that and fox news.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

I would have to agree. Bringing these past cases up and publishing the men's names again seems unnecessary and somewhat like muck-raking at this point. Better to have left it alone until the Dr. was either convicted or cleared of the charges.

Steve Pepple

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

Comments that blame the victim will be removed, per our <a href="">conversation guidelines<a>.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

What about comments that blame YOU?

david st. crystal

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

The conversation guidelines obviously exist to prevent readers from discussing the sub-garbage quality of A2 News articles.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

You guys are out of'll have your day in court as your ad revenue vanishes. Your &quot;conversation guidelines&quot; are nothing more than a vehicle for displaying your hypocrisy! Give me a break....


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

The entire article doesn't comply with your conversation guidelines. The whole article should be removed.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

Mr Pepple, Who exactly is the victim? This is definitely garbage journalism.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

What if the doctor is the victim?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

you do not know the whole story (trial) and are saying the victim is a victim how do you not know the dr is a victim?