Shooting photos up women’s skirts legal in Mass., high court rules
Published On: Mar 05 2014 12:30:49 PM EST
Updated On: Mar 05 2014 02:32:09 PM EST
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The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that secretly photographing under a woman’s skirt, or “upskirting,” is not against state law because the women are not nude or partially nude
The ruling came in the case of Michael Robertson, who was arrested in August 2010 by transit police who set up a sting after getting reports that he was using his cellphone to take photos and video up female riders’ skirts and dresses.
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The high court ruled that the law that prohibits “Peeping Tom” voyeurism did not apply to pictures taken of people who are fully clothed.
"A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is ‘partially nude,’ no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing," the court said in its ruling.
The SJC says while such actions should be illegal, the way state law is written they are not.
"At the core of the Commonwealth’s argument to the contrary is the proposition that a woman, and in particular a woman riding on a public trolley, has a reasonable expectation of privacy in not having a stranger secretly take photographs up her skirt. The proposition is eminently reasonable, but (the law) in its current form does not address it," the court wrote in its decision.
Prosecutors had argued that a person has a right to privacy beneath his or her own clothes.
"The ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court is contrary to the spirit of the current law," said Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo. "The House will begin work on updating our statutes to conform with today’s technology immediately."
A telephone message left with Michelle Menken, Robertson’s attorney, was not immediately returned.
This is crazy.