The Woodward News

Community News Network

November 5, 2013

Attorney: Women on subway are fair game for 'up-skirt' pics

BOSTON — An attorney argued Monday that women can't expect privacy in a subway from people like her client, 31-year-old Michael Robertson, who is accused of using his cell phone camera to snap "up-skirt" pictures of female passengers.

"If a clothed person reveals a body part, whether it was intentional or unintentional, he or she cannot expect privacy," attorney Michelle Menken told the seven justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Menken maintains that the laws regarding taking unwanted pictures of women are outdated, and such actions are protected under the First Amendment.

Robertson, of Andover, Mass., was arrested in August 2010 for allegedly trying to take photos up women’s dresses on Boston’s Green Line subway.

Robertson’s trial in Boston Municipal Court has been stayed pending the appeal before the state’s highest court. He was not in the courtroom for the arguments.

Menken told the justices that so-called "peeping Tom" laws protect nude women and men from being photographed in dressing rooms and bathrooms. However, the law as worded does not protect clothed people in public areas.

Attorney Cailin Campbell argued on behalf of the state "there is an understandable expectation that one can have on not being photographed like that in that kind of setting."

But Menken said she is worried about First Amendment rights being violated if Robertson is convicted.

"For example, say a woman is breast feeding in public and someone who is morally opposed to this or even a journalist takes a picture. The woman may be covered, but for some reason the picture shows a little bit of her breast. Now, that person who took the photo can be charged with the same thing," Menken said.

Robertson is being charged with two counts of photographing an unsuspecting nude or partially nude person. If his appeal to the state's high court fails, he could face more than two years in jail if convicted.

Details for this story were reported by The Eagle Tribune in North Andover, Mass.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014