Upskirting may be deemed illegal in South Carolina

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Saturday, March 15th, 2014

SOUTH CAROLINA (WRDW) -- In the mall,on a bus, and even just in the grocery store. Women in danger of upskirting-- snapping secret photos up women's skirts.

"It's degrading to women, I think to do that, and I think there should be a ban on this," Jane Fiorella said.

"Women have the right not to be imposed on like that," Susie McNeely said.

It all started in Boston when a judge ruled a picture was legal because the woman was technically clothed. Massachusetts has since made it illegal.

Now, South Carolina's trying to do the same.

"The law when it was originally enacted was probably for someone who was actually a peeping tom who looked through a window and saw something," Sarah Blake said.

Times have changed. Now with just a cell phone someone can come behind a woman and take a picture without her knowing and it could end up all over the internet. A South Carolina bill is calling to revise the Peeping Tom law. Along with eavesdropping and peeping, upskirting would now be on that list.

"When someone is taking secret photographs underneath a woman's clothing while she's in public is is now protected under the law she can be considered a victim of voyeurism," Blake said.

By definition, the woman would have to be truly unaware it was happening. This mom couldn't believe it wasn't already a law.

"Very surprised there has not been a ban on this because it's just something not very moral to do," Fiorella said.

This is a concern for many mothers and grandmothers.

"I have two granddaughters and I'm very protective. If anything like that ever happened, we'd probably be battling it out," McNeely said.

"[This would be] a move in the right direction," Fiorella said.

The law would make the first offense a misdemeanor and sentencing up to three years-- after that its a felony.

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