Anti-upskirting bill signed by Gov. Patrick

BOSTON (WWLP) – Less than two full days after the state’s highest court ruled that taking “upskirt” photos is not against the law, it is now in fact illegal.

Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill to ban the practice on Friday morning.

The new law, which took effect immediately upon the governor’s signing, prohibits “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.” Someone found guilty of the crime would face up to 2 1/2 years in prison, and/or have to pay a fine of up to $5,000.

The new law also makes it a separate crime to take such videos or photos of a child. A person found guilty of that crime could face up to five years in state prison.

Katelyn Flaherty told 22News that she was glad that the law was passed.

“It shouldn’t have even been legal to begin with, so I’m glad they got that under control and fixed it,” said Flaherty.

The bill quickly passed through both houses of the Legislature on Thursday, one day after the Supreme Judicial Court had ruled that a man did not violate state law by taking photos up the skirts of women who were riding on the MBTA.

“I love the fact that they’re on our side and they are willing to protect us and they’ll do anything to make us feel safe,” said resident Jessi Bertrand.

The court had held that the women whose pictures were taken were fully clothed, and thus were not protected under the state’s existing “Peeping Tom” laws.

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