Massachusetts Rushes "Upskirt" Photo Ban to Law

The quickly altered law means that upskirt photos will no longer be legal

MBTA Peeping Tom

MBTA Peeping Tom

Just days ago, Boston courts ruled that a man could not be charged for sneaking an "upskirt" photo of a woman on the MBTA, as current peeping tom laws only covered people who were "nude or partially nude." However, the Massachusetts legislature has rushed through a change in the law, closing the loophole, and hopefully putting in place a proper system to punish people who undertake this scummy activity.

The new bill would make it illegal to record or photograph under someone's clothes, and would be a misdemeanor crime. According to the AP

The legislation says anyone who "photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils" another person's sexual or intimate parts without that person's consent would face a misdemeanor charge and a maximum penalty of two-and-a-half years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

The crime becomes a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for photographs or recordings of a child under 18. Distributing such photos would carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Given the short amount of time since the original case was thrown out—just a matter of days, it's impressive to see the Massachusetts legislature react so quickly. And while this might be too late to prosecute the original perpetrator, it provides a legal recourse going forward if people are caught doing this in the future.

Photo: By Arnold Reinhold (Creative Commons)