Upskirting legislative action may happen Thursday

iphone
State lawmakers said they will act swiftly to pass a law against up skirting. Credit: Flickr

There were signs on Beacon Hill Thursday that lawmakers may be ready to act quickly to address a high court decision Wednesday throwing out the state’s case against a man accused of secretly taking photographs up women’s skirts on the MBTA.

Rep. Paul Donato (D-Medford) told the News Service during a recess in the House’s session Thursday that Speaker Robert DeLeo is very concerned about the ruling, and House lawmakers want to address it quickly.

Donato said House officials were trying to figure out what legislative vehicle they would use to pass something quickly, with action possible later in the day. The House recessed its morning session, planning to return later.

“We are trying to find the right vehicle and the right language,” Donato said.

Meanwhile in a radio interview on Thursday, Senate President Therese Murray also vowed action, saying that taking photographs up the skirts of women on public transportation is sexual harassment.

The SJC on Wednesday threw out the state’s case against a man accused of secretly taking photographs up women’s skirts on the MBTA, arguing the women did not have a legal expectation of privacy on the trolley and were not partially nude as defined under current law.

The court found that the state’s law against secretly photographing or videotaping a person who is nude or partially nude was written in a way to apply to “peeping toms,” but does not cover “upskirting.”

During an interview on WATD-FM Thursday, Murray said attorneys on her staff and DeLeo’s staff have begun drafting a bill to address the court’s ruling.

“Where is our moral objections to these things happening?” Murray said. “Morally it’s wrong. The law should state that this is sexual harassment. There are all kinds of different harassment and this is sexual harassment.”

She added, “Technology is going to continually change. What about the very act of putting your hand under a woman or near underneath a woman’s skirt? That is a provocative act and that should be illegal.”

Murray said the court examined a “very narrow statute that dealt with electronic monitoring” that was approved in 2004.

“I don’t understand why they wouldn’t – and maybe it’s because of the way the case was brought by the DA – why they wouldn’t say this was sexual harassment whether you are in a public place or not . . . Now women, we are being told, have no right to privacy if we are in a public facility. That makes no sense to me. This is an assault on women and it should have been looked at that way. But we are going to act,” she said.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…