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Mass. Upskirt Photos: Bill to Ban Upskirt Photos Approved

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Just one day after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (MSJC) ruled that upskirt photos are not illegal, a bill Massachusetts lawmakers quickly drafted to ban such pictures was approved by the state legislature. Governor Deval Patrick has said he will sign the bill into law, so, no, you can’t expect to use your cellphone to take pictures up a woman’s skirt legally on your next visit to The Bay State.

Michael Robertson was arrested in 2010 after being caught using his phone to snap pictures up the skirts of women on the Boston subway. After failing to get the charges dismissed, Robertson eventually appealed to the MSJC, and the court decided that the state’s Peeping Tom law didn’t apply to Robertson’s case.

According to the court, the law states that the female has to be at least partially nude when the pictures are taken for the law to apply. Prosecutors tried to argue that that “the victim was partially nude for purposes of the statute because portions of her body intentionally covered by clothing were revealed by the surreptitiously-placed camera and visible through its lens,” but the MSJC disagreed. Check out part of the ruling below.

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.

If you’re thinking that it is ridiculous to think that someone should be allowed to use their phone to take upskirt photos without a woman’s permission, you’re not alone, as Massachusetts lawmakers were fast to approve a bill banning such pictures. After the bill is signed by the governor, there will no longer be any gray area to the law as far as taking upskirt photos is concerned.

‘‘It is sexual harassment. It’s an assault on another person whether it’s a child or an adult,’’ Senate President Therese Murray said after the bill was approved. ‘‘Woman and children should be able to go to public places without feeling that they are not protected by the law.’’

According to the bill, anyone caught taking such pictures will be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to two and a half years in jail. Further, distributing such pictures would be considered a felony that could carry up to a 10-year sentence.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Mass. Upskirt Photos: Bill to Ban Upskirt Photos Approved
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