Society
Society

Man Claims His ‘Upskirt’ Photos of Women Are Protected Free Speech

| by Michael Allen

Michael Robertson was arrested in 2010 for allegedly taking “upskirt” photos of women on a subway platform in Boston.

He was charged with two counts of photographing an unsuspecting nude or partially nude person, including an undercover transit officer and a passenger, reported the Boston Herald.

Robertson's attorney Michelle Menken is asking the Massachusetts Supreme Court to drop the charges because upskirt pictures are part of the First Amendment's free speech clause.

Menken claims that women who reveal their body while standing on a subway platform “cannot expect privacy" and laws only protect people while they are nude or partially nude in dressing rooms or bathrooms, notes the Eagle-Tribune.

“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,” Menken stated in court. “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 added that the women who Robertson photographed were not partially nude because they were wearing underwear.

“They have to be in an exposed state to violate the current law and these women were not,” Menken insisted. "The use of a cellphone in public is not secret surveillance.”

However, the State Attorney Cailin Campbell noted that Robertson had been pointing his cell phone toward women discreetly at waist level and the cell phone's camera allowed him to see more than he would be able to under normal circumstances.

“He did not place his camera directly up a women’s skirt,” countered Menken. “He saw what was in front of him.”

Female celebrities are often photographed upskirt, but in those cases the photographer is normally waiting for them to exit a car and is in clear sight, aiming his or her camera.

Sources: Boston Herald, Eagle-Tribune, CelebrityDirtyLaundry.com