US state law allows Peeping Toms to take 'upskirt' photos
A man, who took cellphone photos up the skirts of women riding the Boston subway, was found not guilty of violating Massachusetts state law because the women were not nude or partially nude.
The Supreme Judicial Court overruled a lower court that had upheld charges against Michael Robertson, who was arrested in August 2010 by transit police who set up a sting after getting reports that he was using his cellphone to take photos and video up female riders' skirts and dresses, ABC News reported.
The ruling immediately prompted top Beacon Hill lawmakers to pledge to update state law.
Existing so-called Peeping Tom laws protect people from being photographed in dressing rooms and bathrooms when nude or partially nude, but the way the law is written, it does not protect clothed people in public areas, the court said.
The SJC said that while such actions should be illegal, they are not, given the way state law is written.
Suffolk County prosecutors said their interpretation of the state's Peeping Tom law was that "upskirt" photos are illegal.
District Attorney Dan Conley said prosecutors are hoping state lawmakers will change the wording of the statute by the end of this legislative session.
(Posted on 07-03-2014)