It is Now Perfectly Legal to Take Upskirt Photos in Georgia

In another bizarre legal ruling from a right-leaning state, a Georgia Court of Appeals ruled the state’s invasion of privacy laws does not prohibit taking a photo up a woman’s skirt (an “upskirt photo”) unless she is “behind closed doors,” with an expectation of privacy, like in a bathroom stall or dressing room. Otherwise, a secret photo taken without the permission of the woman in a public place like a supermarket or sidewalk is fair game.

In a 6-3 opinion, judges ruled in the recent case of Brandon Lee Gary, a Publix store clerk who was accused of taking upskirt photos of a female shopper, that criminal “invasion of privacy” laws only protect victims if the conduct takes place somewhere that is not “visible to the public.”  The problem, the judges note, lays in the language of the law, and that it is up to the state legislature to fix it in the next legislative session. However, the next session will not occur until Spring 2017.

The state of Georgia is not alone. Dozens of states do not have specific laws against sexual harassers taking upskirt photos of women in public. For example, a Washington, D.C. judge ruled in 2014 that a woman does not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” if she were photographed “clothed and positioned in a public space, even if the photographs in question are incredibly invasive and demeaning.” Often, this kind of behavior is not considered illegal due to technicalities of the wording of laws that have not kept up with technology.

Upskirt Photos ARE Against the Law in California

While there is no specific law in California banning taking upskirt photos of women, it is a criminal act by way of disorderly conduct under CA Penal Code § 647(j)(2) (also known as California’s “peeping tom statute”). Under the law, peeping into someone’s window, using, a device such as a telescope, or secretly recording them for the purpose of sexual gratification is a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. A subsequent conviction is further punishable by one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Additionally, California also has strict laws against photographing someone without his or her consent, even if not for the purposes of sexual gratification.

San Diego Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Defense Lawyer

In any event, sexual harassment of women is wrong, and we do not recommend taking upskirt photos of women. However, at the Law Offices of David M. Boertje, we also realize that sometimes a mistake can lead to legal consequences you did not intend. The Law Offices of David M. Boertje is here to help you when you have been charged and/or arrested for a crime.  We service San Diego County in all misdemeanors and felonies, including sexual offenses. If you have been charged with a sexual offense, contact attorney David Boertje today.