Mass. Upskirt Photos: State Lawmakers Quickly Ban Practice

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 08:19 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A day after Massachusetts' highest court ruled that "upskirt" photos are legal, state lawmakers quickly jumped into action with a bill that bans the voyeuristic practice.

On Wednesday, the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of Michael Robertson, a 32-year-old man who was arrested in 2010 for reportedly snapping photos and recording video up the skirts and dresses of women on the trolley.

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Robertson was charged with two counts of "attempting to secretly photograph a person in a state of partial nudity," which, Judge Margot Botsford ruled, did not violate the law is it's written.

"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," Botsford wrote in her opinion.

The decision outraged lawmakers who quickly drafted a bill to change the law. It easily passed through the state senate Thursday and is awaiting a signature from Gov. Deval Patrick, who has publicly vowed to endorse it, CNN reported.

"I am proud of the Senate for taking action today to restore a women's [sic] right to privacy," Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray said in a statement Thursday. "We are sending a message that to take a photo or video of a woman under her clothing is morally reprehensible and, in Massachusetts, we will put you in jail for doing it. We will need to revisit this law again and again as technology continues to evolve and ensure that we are providing the necessary protections."

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