Lawyer: Man's MBTA upskirt photos protected by First Amendment

A lawyer for an Andover man accused of taking pictures up the dresses of women riding the MBTA said the alleged action is protected by the First Amendment.

The Government Center MBTA station's planned 2-year closure has been delayed. (Amanda Art/Metro) The Green Line. Credit: Amanda Art/Metro

 

A lawyer for an Andover man accused of taking pictures up the skirts and dresses of women riding the MBTA argued before the state's highest court that what her client did is protected by the First Amendment.

 

Michael Robertson, 31, is appealing his 2010 arrest for allegedly taking pictures up the dresses of women riding the Green Line. The lower court put his trial on hold pending the outcome of the appeal to dismiss the charges.

 

Michelle Menken, Robertson's lawyer, told the Supreme Judicial Court justices during oral arguments on Monday that the laws regarding taking unwanted pictures of women are outdated and do not apply to Robertson, according to The Eagle -Tribune.

 

Menken argued that the laws regarding unwanted pictures protect people in bathrooms or dressing rooms while nude or partially nude, and that the way the law as it's written does not protect clothed people in public.

An attorney for the state argued that there is an "understandable expectation" that people can have of not being photographed like that, the Eagle-Tribune reported. The state attorney also argued that because of the camera, Robertson saw part of the women's underwear that he otherwise couldn't have seen.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

 
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