Lawmakers promise quick action after upskirt photo ruling

state-house

BOSTON (WWLP) – Secretly taking pictures underneath a person’s clothes is technically legal in Massachusetts, but not for long. A new ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has state leaders taking action to prevent “upskirting.”

The high court ruled Wednesday that taking photos underneath a person’s clothes, like a woman’s skirt, is not prohibited under existing “peeping Tom” laws.

The issue started when a man allegedly took photos up women’s skirts without their knowledge in Boston. He was arrested, but his attorneys had argued that what he was doing wasn’t really illegal.

In their ruling, the justices said that the state’s “Peeping Tom” law prohibits a person from secretly taking pictures of somebody fully or partially undressed. But in this case, the women were fully clothed, making it the man’s actions technically legal.

State lawmakers were in disbelief when they heard about the ruling, prompting the Legislature to act quickly to make sure “upskirting” becomes illegal.

“Today, we’re working on, as we speak, a piece of legislation that we hope to get done today, send it back and forth, the House and the Senate, and hopefully get it to the Governor’s desk by the end of the day,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop).

Bills to ban upskirting had been proposed in the past, but had stalled.

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