A court in Georgia has found that a man who took a photograph up a woman's skirt did not violate any of the state's privacy laws in doing so.
The Georgia Court of Appeals tossed out the conviction of former grocery store employee Brandon Lee Gary, who reportedly recorded videos up a woman's skirt while she was shopping, according to The Associated Press.
The court ruled that the state does not technically consider taking a photograph up a woman's skirt to be an invasion of privacy, WGCL reports.
On July 15, Judge Elizabeth Branch said that it is "regrettable that no law currently exists which criminalizes Gary's reprehensible conduct."
The law protects women who are behind closed doors, like in a bathroom stall or a changing room, from individuals attempting to take such photos. But if they are taken on the sidewalk or in the aisle of a supermarket, they are legal.
Georgia State University Professor Tanya Washington said she disagrees with the ruling.
"You've given people license to continue this kind of behavior until the next legislative session which is not until next year," she said.
One of the judges who dissented in the 6-3 ruling argued that the court was narrowly interpreting "place." The law defines a place as a physical location, not an area of the body, the majority opinion says.
"As the victim's genital area was not exposed to the public, it was out of public view and the victim had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the area under her skirt," wrote Judge Amanda Mercier.
The court said that the flaws rested with the wording of the law and that it was up to the state legislature to fix it.
State Senator Vincent Fort said he was unhappy with the ruling, and plans to make sure the law is corrected during the next legislative session. "So we're going to have six months or so where these creeps can run around doing this stuff," he said.