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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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  • Jim

    Senator Murray talks (at least twice) in this interview about someone putting their hand under a woman’s skirt. The reported case is about someone photographing women sitting across from them on a subway car. Perhaps the Senator does not understand the decision which upsets her so much.

    • fun bobby

      this law seems pretty insane, taking a picture of a clothed person is illegal?

  • Dan

    I don’t think they went into detail about what the case is about because they have had multiple reports on this case already.

    • Mango Momma

      I didn’t ask for details, but a simple statement along the lines of “the case in question involves a man taking photos of women sitting across the aisle of the subway train.” In other words, photographing what was in plain sight, not sticking his hand up a skirt.

  • Payton Manning

    Those who profess no limits to the actions which can be taken in the majority’s name are undermining liberty and democratic processes.

    • fun bobby

      welcome to Massachusetts

  • CCM

    So does that mean it’s still perfectly legal to take creepshots of the private parts of a man?

  • fun bobby

    that seems quite vague, you cannot take pictures of clothed people in public?

  • fun bobby

    now we can sleep sound at night

  • X-Ray

    It sure is amazing how fast the politicians can act, if they want to. It is also amazing how poorly a law a group of lawyers were in crafting the original defective law.

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