Massachusetts’ highest court ruled Wednesday that it is not illegal to secretly photograph underneath a person’s clothing — a practice known as “upskirting” — prompting one prosecutor to call for a revision of state law.
The high court ruled that the practice did not violate the law because the women who were photographed while riding Boston public transportation were not nude or partially nude.
Unnnnnnnh? Yes they were – under their clothes, they were stark naked. Remember that book title – Naked Under My Clothes? It was a joke, but – yes, if someone shoves a camera down your pants, you’re naked, which is why the someone shoved the camera down there. It’s the same with upskirt.
The ruling stems from the case against Michael Robertson, 32, who was arrested in 2010 and accused of using his cell phone to take pictures and record video up the skirts and dresses of women on the trolley, according to court documents.
Two separate complaints were filed against Robertson with the transit police. Authorities then staged “a decoy operation” to catch Robertson, who was eventually arrested and charged with two counts of attempting to secretly photograph a person in a state of partial nudity. Police observed him point a cell phone video camera up the dress of a female officer, court documents state.
Secretly – key word there. If the women wanted guys photographing their crotches, they would leave the skirt at home, or they would just invite guys to shove cameras up their skirts. When the aspiring photographers do it secretly, it’s a safe bet the women didn’t want them doing that.
Prosecutors had argued that the current statute, which prohibits secretly photographing or videotaping a person who is “nude or partially nude,” includes upskirting, according to documents.
But Robertson’s lawyers that the female passenger on the trolley was not “nude or partially nude” and was not in a place where she had a reasonable expectation of privacy, according to court documents.
Excuse me? Not in a place where she had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the sense of not having her clothes torn off or cameras shoved up between her legs? Really? Passengers on trolleys don’t have a reasonable expectation that they will be allowed to retain their clothes and not have strangers sticking cameras or phones under their hems? Silly me, I thought they did. I guess we should all solder everything closed before we get on the bus.