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Massage therapist convicted of filming woman gets new trial

GULFPORT (AP) — A massage therapist convicted in 2016 of secretly filming a female client while she changed is getting a new trial.

The Sun Herald of Biloxi reports the Mississippi Court of Appeals voted 5-4 to retry Matthew Edward Pierce, of Long Beach. An opinion issued by the court majority says Judge Lisa Dodson, who presided over the 2016 trial, was wrong to close the courtroom during the testimony of the woman videotaped by Pierce. It says only the review of the tape itself should have been closed as the law entitles defendants to public trials.

It also says Dodson wrongly omitted jury instruction that said Pierce should be found innocent if the jury concluded he accidentally taped his client, which is what Pierce says happened.