Man Arrested Under State's New Upskirting Law

For what may be the first time, a person has been charged under the new Massachusetts "upskirting" law.

Joshua Gonsalves, 23, of Norwood, was arrested Tuesday on charges he used an iPad to take photos up the skirt of a woman at the MBTA’s Forest Hills station.

Joshua Gonsalves (MBTA Transit Police)
Joshua Gonsalves (MBTA Transit Police)

Police say Gonsalves said he had heard on the news that it was not illegal to "take pictures up a girl's skirt."

In March, Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill that made upskirting illegal.

Amid a public uproar, the bill was passed by the Legislature just a day after the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that "upskirting" was technically not illegal under the state's existing voyeurism laws.

The case stemmed from a 2010 incident in which Michael Robertson was arrested by transit police in a sting following reports that Robertson had taken lewd photos of MBTA passengers with his cellphone.

The court ruled Robertson's actions were not illegal because the state's existing law did not cover individuals in public areas.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said it's the first arrest for transit police under the new law.

Gonsalves is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in West Roxbury District Court.



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