Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a bill sponsored by Senators Tom Kean (Union, Somerset, Morris) and Kevin O’Toole (Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) to prohibit “upskirting” by adding the offense to the state’s invasion of privacy statutes.
Legislation sponsored by Senators Tom Kean and Kevin O’Toole to prohibit ‘upskirting’ has been signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie. (SenateNJ.com)
“Upskirting” occurs when a person is filmed or photographed underneath their clothing without their consent and when they would not expect to be exposed in that fashion.
“Handheld digital devices have made it possible to violate people’s privacy in ways that weren’t possible just a few years ago,” said Kean. “A voyeur can snap a cell phone picture of an unsuspecting victim in seconds and share it online to the entire world. This new law will provide a strong deterrent to prevent this abhorrent activity.”
“We’ve read too many reports of upskirting pictures being traded online like baseball cards,” said O’Toole. “Once a victim’s picture is posted online, it can be nearly impossible to have it removed from all of the sites that share it. I applaud the Governor for supporting our effort to put a stop to upskirting.”
The legislation, S-345, makes it a crime of the fourth-degree to photograph, film, videotape, record, or otherwise reproduce in any manner the image of the undergarment-clad intimate parts of another person, without that person’s consent and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not expect to have those areas observed.
A fourth-degree crime is ordinarily punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months, of a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
If the images or recordings are disclosed in any way, including being posted to the internet or shared in any other way, it would become a crime of the third degree.
Third-degree crimes are ordinarily punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
“As parents in this highly digital age, we’re always concerned about protecting our children and our privacy, and a big part of doing that is for state criminal laws to keep up with new and emerging technologies,” Governor Christie said. “This new law targets perpetrators of a perverse and growing form of pornography that victimizes vulnerable women and children in a matter of seconds.”
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