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Peeping Tom action withdrawn

Published Feb. 22, 2006

A Gainesville woman who accused a defense attorney of being a peeping Tom has abandoned her attempt to get a restraining order against him.

The case involving Stephen Bernstein, who defended Sameeh Hammoudeh and won an acquittal during the terrorism-related trial of Sami Al-Arian, was set to go before a judge in Gainesville Tuesday afternoon.

But on Monday, Teresa Cato filed to dismiss her request for an injunction, according to Alachua County court records.

It remained unclear Tuesday whether that will affect three voyeurism and three trespassing charges that Bernstein faces. The assistant state attorney prosecuting those charges did not return a call for comment.

Bernstein's attorney, Larry Turner, said he didn't know the status of those misdemeanor charges, and he wouldn't say what prompted Cato's decision.

"I think this was an issue between neighbors, and it has been resolved," Turner said.

Cato declined to comment. She had accused Bernstein of peering through her windows on four separate occasions between August and December. She and her husband are Bernstein's neighbors.