Congratulations, Massachusetts, You May Still Legally Take Creepshot Upskirt Photos!

Congratulations, Massachusetts, You May Still Legally Take Creepshot Upskirt Photos!

So let’s say you are a skirt-wearing person and you would like to ride public transportation in Massachusetts. You would likely think that if someone tried to take an upskirt picture of your lacy underthings or junk swinging free or whatever you have under there, that would be illegal. Haha you are wrong.

The Supreme Judicial Court today tossed charges against a Green Line rider caught snapping photos up the skirts of female Green Line riders in 2010.

In its ruling, the state’s highest court said the law used to prosecute Michael Robertson applies only to “nude” or “partially nude” women in private locations, such as bedrooms, not to clothed women – even women with no undergarments – in public places such as the T.

You are probably saying WAIT WHAT but sadly the Court is right here, even though the result sucks balls. Here’s how the Massachusetts Supreme Court lawsplains the state’s Peeping Tom law.

[The law] has five elements that the Commonwealth must prove: (1) the defendant willfully photographed, videotaped, or electronically surveilled; [FN9] (2) the subject was another person who was nude or partially nude; (3) the defendant did so with the intent to secretly conduct or hide his photographing activity; (4) the defendant conducted such activity when the other person was in a place and circumstance where the person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in not being “so photographed”; and (5) the defendant did so without the other person’s knowledge or consent.

There’s no doubt, says the court, that sneaky upskirt filming in this case was done without consent, that the creeper tried to hide what he was doing, and he didn’t get the upskirtee’s consent. However, the law requires you to be some level of nude and somewhere where you can reasonably expect privacy, and being clothed on the Green Line is neither of these things. Folks over at Jezebel are rightly and righteously pissed about this.

Who in their right mind interprets what’s under a woman’s skirt as not fitting the “partially nude” definition? And who has the audacity to tell women that they can’t expect not to be violated by a pervert taking photos of their private parts, no matter if they happen to be covered up by underwear?

We agree that the law’s failure to cover this guy’s creep behavior sucks, but we can’t really see how on earth a court can find that you are “partially nude” under your clothes, because that is kinda how everyone is. And the court isn’t displaying audacity or insensitivity to women. They’re just stuck with a law that says you need to be in a PLACE with a reasonable expectation of privacy. You may expect a certain amount of bodily integrity — that people aren’t creep-shooting your person — but the law is talking about literally being IN A PLACE, and “under your skirt” does not count as a place.

We are not making light of this decision or the impact it has, but the court is right in saying that it is up to the Massachusetts Legislature to get a law in place that prohibits this sort of behavior, rather than trying to bend the existing Peeping Tom law to fit. Get on that, you northeastern liberals. While you’re at it, pass something so that judges can’t decide that Twitter is a private place and revenge porning your ex by posting naked pix of them on Twitter is therefore totally cool, because that is also terrible. More better newer laws now, people.

[Jezebel/Universal Hub/Commonwealth v. Michael Robertson]

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  • Zhu Bajie

    Is it legal to grab the camera and throw it out the window? How long before someone shoots a peeping tom at work and gets away with it?

    • beergoggles

      Do you know how hard it is to get a gun here in MA? Although they could just drive a few hours to NH and pick one up I guess.

  • Dragoon21b

    So you know that voice in your head…No not that one the other one…Mine keeps saying something about peoples fourth amendment rights being violated…something about the right to be secure in their “Persons”… There is one helluva civil case lurking in them thar words

  • dorquemada

    Your move Florida.

  • willi0000000

    if the legislature won’t act maybe the makers of cameras and devices with cameras in them can.add to the TOS that if you use the device to take a compromising photograph of anyone without their consent that they are allowed to destroy your device . . . and that it voids the warranty.

  • glasspusher

    Partially nude is like partially pregnant. No such thing. Is there no sideboob? Is there no cleavage?

  • Fitzgerald Chesterfield

    So the Mass Supremes are either prodding the lege to get on a revenge porn bill or setting up the precedent for its loophole.

  • Rick Hill

    I certainly do enjoy looking at the more tender parts of tha wimmin folks types but not this. I’m afraid I would likely commit my own crime if I saw some guy doing this. Then again I’ve seen pictures of people taking pictures of these guys in action. Some of them are very obvious, others have whole set ups with brief cases or bags that they move into place very inconspicuously. Also note that some of the women taken advantage of have knee length dresses on.

  • IDreamOfNinja

    I’m not sure it would be ‘bending the law’ to have ruled the other, less up my skirt way. I agree the law is fucked because… that’s a lot of shit to have to prove in order to legally protect the right to not have your vagina photographed. But laws are interpreted all the time, especially poorly written laws…Still, the 5 points… 1) CHECK Willful photography 2) Subject was either nude or partially nude. Okay, here’s the thing about skirts guys. They’re not pants. And ‘partially nude’ isn’t exactly defined (because why?)- seems flexible enough to reason that if you position yourself so you can see UP her skirt, it’s not a leap to say this might be ‘partially nude.’ women are partially nude. Up her skirt. But seriously, rewrite that, it’s nonsense.3) CHECK Did so to secretly conduct/hide his photographic activity. CHECK. Again, rewrite it so you can’t fucking do it regardless. It’s legal to say ‘look you guys!’ and click? I’ve literally seen douchebags shove a camera out and snap a pic in under 5 seconds publicly and proudly. But again, WTF. 4) EVERYONE has a REASONABLE expectation of privacy from being ‘so-photographed.’ When ‘so-photographed’ means up under your clothing by some stranger in any public or private place. This 4th point is written in shitty, vague terms. If we establish the shitty, vague ‘partially nude’ area up your skirt, then ‘so photographed’ is built in. 5) CHECK- No consent. Because fucking duh…. that’s the entire point. This piece of shit law needs to be replaced with one that’s written by someone with more than an 11th grade education. But also, fuck that. Make sure to strap yourselves in secure under garments that guarantee no one can find a way to photograph your vagina, ladies, cause you just have to.