Wednesday, Massachusetts’ highest court surprisingly ruled that Micheal Robertson, who was caught taking cellphone pictures up the skirts of women riding the Boston subway by transit authorities, wasn’t doing anything illegal.
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley called for a rewrite of the law right after the case’s dismissal on Wednesday during a press conference.
Thursday, they had legislation for that.
Lawmakers have approved a bill that would punish those who secretly take photographs of “the sexual or other intimate parts” of women or children in public.
In fact, anyone who does such a thing would face a pretty stiff penalty of a maximum penalty of two-and-a-half years in jail and a $5,000 fine. Jail time and fines double if the victim is under 18 years of age, according to AP.
If they distribute such filth or put the photos on pornographic websites, that would carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The bill could be before Governor Deval Patrick as early as Friday. He has publicly committed to signing it.
Senate President Therese Murray had this to say just moments after the Senate unanimously approved the bill, “It is sexual harassment. It’s an assault on another person whether it’s a child or an adult. Woman and children should be able to go to public places without feeling that they are not protected by the law.”
Robert DeLeo, House Speaker, said that after Wednesday’s ruling, Legislature moved quickly to find a solution to the problem. In the past three years, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority police have investigated 13 “secretly photographing” cases.
“Not only did we get it done quickly, but I think there was a feeling that we did it right,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that this would be a law that would pass all legal questions that could arise.”
According to CNN, he later added, “The House took action today to bring Massachusetts laws up-to-date with technology and the predatory practice of ‘upskirting.’ We must make sure that the law protects women from these kind of frightening and degrading acts.”
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