March 2014 was another great example of knee-jerk lawmakers being more interested in making a statement than making a workable law.
This was the month that the Massachusetts top court threw out a conviction against Michael Robertson for taking “upskirt” photos on a train. The law only applied to nude or partially nude victims. A person wearing a skirt is neither.
So the law needed to be changed. Good idea too. But in the rush to put a new law on the books only 24 hours later, lawmakers voted to prohibit secret pictures of “sexual or intimate parts.”
Good idea there too. Unfortunately, in the rush, they failed to realize this still does not impact upskirt photography if the subject is wearing underwear.
To view this vague terminology otherwise, secret photos at the beach are also prohibited. A bikini bottom is as revealing as most underwear (or more so). Or is a bikini bottom not showing something sexual or intimate? What about dancewear?
The difference is that the person wearing a skirt in public has a reasonable expectation of interior privacy above her hem. But there is a difference between “intimate parts” vs. “intimate wear”, and the new law failed to include the latter.
In their rush, the lawmakers failed to make the necessary change, and upskirters will still get their cases tossed out of court.