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.

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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.

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

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