Accused Peeping Tom: 'Upskirt' Photos Free Speech

Says people in public can't expect privacy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2013 6:21 PM CST
Accused Peeping Tom: 'Upskirt' Photos Free Speech
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A Boston man is making the case that the Constitution allows him to secretly take photos up women's skirts in public. The lawyer for 31-year-old Michael Robertson argued that her client's actions in the Boston subway are protected by the First Amendment and that women "cannot expect privacy" from guys like him in public, reports the Eagle-Tribune. As for peeping tom laws, they protect nude or partially nude people in bathrooms or dressing rooms, she said. They don't apply to fully clothed people in public.

A prosecutor shot back that people are entitled to an "understandable expectation" that they won't be photographed like that, even in a public setting like a subway. And then he made case that the peeping tom laws should apply because if the women's privates were photographed, that qualifies them as "partially nude." At the Gloss, Julia Sonenshein sounds a little exasperated: "The arguments have basically devolved into what is considered 'partially nude' versus fully clothed, which is completely arbitrary," she writes. "Can we seriously not agree that regardless of your state of undress, you cannot be photographed against your will for sexual purposes?" (Last month, an air marshal was accused of taking upskirt photos of passengers.)

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