Friday, March 07, 2014

Massachusetts legislature moves quickly to close 'upskirt loophole'

The Massachusetts state legislature worked very quickly to close a loophole in state law that allowed upskirting, CBS reported on Thursday. Upskirting is exactly what it sounds like -- using a cell phone, smartphone or other mobile device to surreptitiously take an image "up" a woman's skirt.

The state's high court had ruled that these "upskirt" photos were legal under current state law, as there was no "upskirt" statute in place and the peeping tom law that prosecutors attempted to use against Michael Robertson did not apply.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court said that two of the requirements for violation of the statute did not apply in Robertson's case. For one, as the upskirt photos were taken on a subway, they had no reasonable expectation or privacy. In addition, the peeping tom law had been written with language saying the victim should be partially or fully nude.

Robertson was arrested in August of 2010 by transit police who set up a sting operation after getting reports that he was using his cellphone to take photos and video up the skirts and dresses of female riders on MBTA’s Green Line.

After additional procedural votes, the bill could reach Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday. Patrick has already said he would sign the legislation.

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