Friday, March 7, 2014

Perv Gets Away With Peep, Legislators Rush to Plug Legal Problem

Probably everyone has heard about the case of Michael Robertson of Boston, Massachusetts, whose criminal charges for taking "up-skirt" videos in the subway was quashed by the court on the eminently legalistic grounds that nobody had ever gotten around to making it against the law:
Existing so-called Peeping Tom laws protect people from being photographed in dressing rooms and bathrooms when nude or partially nude, but the way the law is written, it does not protect clothed people in public areas, the court said.

“A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is ‘partially nude,’ no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing,” the court said in its ruling.

State 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 court said.
Massachusetts legislators rushed to fill this gaping hole in the legal system:
Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill Friday, according to his office, making photographing or recording video under a person's clothing -- think down a blouse or up a skirt -- a misdemeanor.

"The legislation makes the secret photographing, videotaping, or electronically surveiling of another person's sexual or other intimate parts, whether under or around a person's clothing or when a reasonable person would believe that the person's intimate parts would not be visible to the public, a crime," Patrick's office said in a prepared statement.

The crime is punishable by up 2½ years in jail or a fine of up to $5,000.
In addition, the law states that "whoever videotapes or photographs, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, the sexual or other intimate parts of a child" faces a sentence of 2½ to 5 years and up to a $5,000 fine. The law goes into effect immediately.
Perhaps  Michael should consider a move to China, where this video was shot on the subway:

Wombat-socho is back on track this week at The Other McCain with "Rule 5 Sunday: Take It Like A Man."

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