'Upskirt' Pics Now Illegal in Massachusetts

After court ruling, lawmakers worked up a quick bill, and the governor signed it

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 7, 2014 9:17 AM CST | Updated Mar 7, 2014 10:49 AM CST

(Newser) – If you were outraged by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that deemed "upskirt" photos legal, you can turn that frown upside down. Just a day after the decision, state lawmakers voted yesterday to outlaw photos of "sexual or intimate parts" secretly snapped in public in an "unusually swift action," USA Today reports. The bill, which flew through the House and Senate, carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail and a $5,000 fine if the victim is 18 or older, and five years in jail and a $10,000 fine if underage. Gov. Deval Patrick signed it into law this morning, reports CNN.

"It is sexual harassment," Senate President Therese Murray said after the bill's unanimous approval. "Woman and children should be able to go to public places without feeling that they are not protected by the law." (Though good news, gentlemen: It applies to male victims, too.) The state's Peeping Tom law only protects people who are nude or partially nude, like someone in a changing room; the new bill applies to anyone who "photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils" a person's private parts without consent. "Not only did we get it done quickly, but I think there was a feeling that we did it right," the House speaker said. "We wanted to make sure that this would be a law that would pass all legal questions that could arise."

  (Shutterstock)
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