A Norwood man who is the first to be charged under the state's new upskirting law was under the impression that it was his right to take photographs up women's skirts.
Joshua Gonsalves, 23, is accused of using an iPad to take photographs up a 26-year-old woman's dress at the Forest Hills station Tuesday. The woman provided a description to police, who later arrested Gonsalves aboard a Route 34 bus.
Police said Gonsalves admitted to the deed and told officers he heard on the news it was not illegal to "take pictures up a girl's skirt," but he got it twisted.
In March, lawmakers approved legislation that cracks down on the secret photographing or electronically surveiling of "the sexual or other intimate parts" of women or children in public. The law swiftly followed a Supreme Judicial Court ruling that a man who took "upskirt" photos on the T did not violate state laws.
Now, perpetrators face a misdemeanor charge with a maximum penalty of 2 1/2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine for secretly filming an adult's private parts. Those who target children face a felony charge with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“Let’s make this explicit for anyone who missed the follow-up news reports,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said. “Everyone has a right to privacy under their own clothes. Transit Police will arrest you and we will prosecute you if you violate it. We encourage anyone to come forward about this behavior, victims and witnesses alike.”
Gonsalves was arraigned Wednesday in Roxbury District Court, and if he posts $150 bail, must remain away from MBTA property.