After this week's head-scratching Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that said the state's Peeping Tom laws didn't make it illegal to take creepshots in public places, the state's lawmakers hurriedly approved new legislation banning the act. The AP states the new law penalizes anyone who "photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils" another person's sexual or intimate parts without that person's consent, carrying a 2.5 year, $5,000 penalty; double if the victim is under 18 years old. The bill will reach Gov. Deval Patrick today, and he's vowed to sign it. Finally, some sense. [AP]
Today in disgusting, the Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that it's totally legal to take upskirt photos on public transit. Provided that the victim is wearing underwear.
The court concluded that this creepy-ass corner of photography is okay because the law only protects people who are nude or semi-nude and in private. In short, women cannot have any expectation of privacy in a public place, such as a bus or a train. Naked on the train? No upskirts. Fully clothed? Upskirts are a-okay! The decision reads:
We conclude that [the law], as written, as the defendant suggests, is concerned with proscribing Peeping Tom voyeurism of people who are completely or partially undressed and, in particular, such voyeurism enhanced by electronic devices. [The law] does not apply to photographing [or videotaping or electronically surveilling] persons who are fully clothed and, in particular, does not reach the type of upskirting that the defendant is charged with attempting to accomplish on the MBTA.
The court sided with Michael Robertson, a man who admitted to taking upskirt photographs of women on the MBTA's green line back in 2010. He owned up to being a massive creep and taking the pics, and argued that they weren't against the law because the women were not nude. And although the court sided with him, it did say that it's time for the law to be changed.
But really. Gross gross gross gross gross gross gross gross gross gross GROSS. Don't ride public transit in Boston unless you're wearing opaque, black, full-body Spanx and a Hazmat suit. At least until the Massachusetts legislature can get around to fixing a very bad law. [MassLive via TPM]
Update: Good news! Massachusetts lawmakers voted to ban upskirt photos in the wake of the bad and gross ruling.
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