Judge: ‘Upskirt’ photo of girl, 13, not illegal

I tend to think we have too many laws, many of which are unenforced or unenforceable.

But the state of Oregon needs at least one more.

Recently, a state judge ruled a 61-year-old man who took an ‘upskirt’ photo of a 13-year-old girl did not break the law.

Patrick Buono, of Portland, admitted to taking photos Jan. 3 in the aisle of a Target in Beaverton, Oregon.

The judge ruled the act did not violate privacy and child porn laws because the photos were taken in public and did not show nudity.

Oregon (and other state laws) laws prevent the taking of pictures where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists: bathrooms, lockers, etc.

Since the girl was not nude or taking part in a sex act the photos skirted child porn laws.

Defense attorney Mark Lawrence said “It’s incumbent on us as citizens to cover up whatever we don’t want filmed in public places.”

On the losing side of the argument was human decency.

“Sure, [the girl is in] a public place. But she had an expectation of privacy that a deviant isn’t going to stick a camera up her skirt and capture private images of her body,” Deputy District Attorney Paul Maloney said.

The judge called his ruling “upsetting, to sat the least.”

Under Georgia law (OCGA 16-12-100.2), the creepy old man’s actions would be illegal only if he sent the photos to another computer. Georgia law makes it a crime to “transmit any audio or visual image of a child for sexual purposes” including “sexual excitement.”

Privacy is a tricky issue, but if Oregon can’t come up with better laws they need to come up with more clever judges.

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