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Mass. Lawmakers Pass Bill Making ‘Upskirt’ Photos Illegal

BOSTON — Massachusetts lawmakers on Thursday passed a new bill banning “upskirt” photos just a day after the state’s highest court ruled that a man who took cellphone photos up the skirts of women riding the MBTA did not violate state law.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Wednesday dismissed charges against a man caught taking upskirt photos on the MBTA in 2010, saying that the state’s existing so-called “peeping Tom” laws protect people who were nude or partially nude when photographed, but the way the law is written does not protect clothed people in public areas.

“There’s a belief here that most of these issues have been solved, and law enforcement has it under control and women are protected,” said New Bedford Sen. Mark Montigny. “In fact, this is an example with simple technology to show just how unprotected people are.”

The new bill makes clear that it does not matter whether the intimate body parts are covered by clothing or undergarments for a perpetrator to be in violation if they attempt to record images when “a reasonable person would believe that the person’s sexual or intimate parts would not be visible to the public.”

With additional reporting by the State House News Service.

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