Massachusetts High Court Rules 'Upskirting' is Legal

Court ruled upskirt photos do not break peeping tom law because women are not nude or partially nude.
3:00 | 03/06/14

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Transcript for Massachusetts High Court Rules 'Upskirting' is Legal
mind their family too. Shocking decision from Massachusetts' highest court ruling so-called upskirting is legal under the state's peeping Tom laws and that unsuspecting women should have no expectation of privacy when in public. ABC's Ryan smith has the story. Reporter: The Massachusetts supreme court Wednesday morning dismissing the case against this man, Michael Robertson charged with taking photographs under unsuspecting women's skirts on a Boston trolley. In this controversial ruling, the court found that Robertson's actions called upskirting do not violate the state's so-called peeping Tom laws because the women he shot were fully clothed. They weren't partially or fully nude as in a bathroom or a dressing room. Common sense tells you, of course, you have a right and expectation of privacy but the statutes are saying, no, you don't unless you're nude. Reporter: Not the first time peeping Tom laws failed to protect against upskirting. In 2002 the Washington state pr sueme court ruled its state V view yorism law -- the ruling in Massachusetts may have ramifications in other states. There could be life challenges saying, you know what, they weren't really nude in that part of the picture or that statute really talks about, you know, somebody's nudity and not their privacy. Reporter: At a press conference on Wednesday, the district attorney in charge of the case expressed frustration. Of course, you're disappointed there's no statute on the books that we can prosecute Mr. Robertson. I'm pretty confident the legislature is going to take steps hopefully immediately to take action to criminalize. Reporter: For now the decision making many skittish about how technology protects one's rights to privacy under their clothing. We did not hear back from his attorney. Whether these laws apply to upskirting is now in the hands of a legislator. Some speaking out about updating the laws. They'll quickly change it. Technology issue with these cell phone kind of pictures weren't around when they -- Set a speed record. That cadillac commercial sparking a polarizing debate

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