Just a day after Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a man who took photos up a woman's skirt without her consent was not breaking the law, the state's Congress has passed a bill making the act illegal.
In a rare show of lawmakers getting something done quickly, the Senate and the House passed the bill with little to no resistance (the Senate, the AP reports, was unanimous in its vote). It will now go to Gov. Deval Patrick to sign into law, which could happen as soon as tonight.
Yesterday, Michael Robertson's lawyers successfully argued that the state's "Peeping Tom" law did not apply to upskirting, in part because the women he was accused of photographing were not "completely or partially undressed" but "fully clothed." Except for, you know, the parts of them that weren't.
Before all the gross people who take upskirt photos could grab their cameras and move to the state for some consequence-free creeping, the new bill was proposed and passed that will make the action illegal.
Anyone who photographs, videos or "electronically surveils" someone else's private areas without his or her consent will be charged with a misdemeanor and can be punished by up to two and a half years in jail and a $5,000 fine. If the victim is under the age of 18, it becomes a felony and the maximum jail time and fine double.
But some lawmakers aren't completely satisfied.
"What we didn't talk about yet are drones," Senate President Therese Murray said. "So now the drone issue will come up in the future also about privacy issues."