Massachusetts Court Rules It’s Legal To Take Upskirt Photos On Public Transit

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Wednesday ruled that it is not a crime to take photos up women’s skirts on public transportation because existing law only applies photographing people nude or partially nude in private, according to MassLive.

“We conclude that (the law), as written, as the defendant suggests, is concerned with proscribing Peeping Tom voyeurism of people who are completely or partially undressed and, in particular, such voyeurism enhanced by electronic devices. (The law) does not apply to photographing (or videotaping or electronically surveilling) persons who are fully clothed and, in particular, does not reach the type of upskirting that the defendant is charged with attempting to accomplish on the MBTA,” the decision reads.

The court sided with Michael Robertson, who admitted to taking upskirt photos of women on Boston’s Green Line train, but said that Massachusetts law does not criminalize his behavior.

The court did say that the law intended to protect women in public and should be updated, according to MassLive.

“At the core of the Commonwealth’s argument to the contrary is the proposition that a woman, and in particular a woman riding on a public trolley, has a reasonable expectation of privacy in not having a stranger secretly take photographs up her skirt. The proposition is eminently reasonable, but (the law) in its current form does not address it,” the decision reads.

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