A new bill (AB-8) at Wisconsin’s Capitol would make it a felony to take pictures of somebody’s private areas without their consent.
It’s called “up-skirting.” It’s the act of using a camera or video recording device to take pictures and video up someone’s skirt. It’s being done without the victim’s knowledge.
Though it’s not specifically prohibited in our statutes, up-skirting is already against the “spirit of the law,” according to the bill’s author state Representative Jim Ott. “Some individuals have decided to pursue this reprehensible conduct and then try to evade prosecution by claiming some sort of loophole exists in current law.”
The Mequon Republican says his bill makes it very clear that using “any photographic contrivances” to capture images of a person’s private areas without consent is strictly prohibited. Ott says, under our clothing, we all have an expectation of privacy — no matter where we are, even in public.
Ozaukee County district attorney Adam Gerol supports the bill.
Gerol says it’s “awful behavior and people should be punished accordingly.” He says, “This bill simply mirrors what the public would expect to be against the law.”
Ott says the penalty needs to fit the severity of the crime and its impact on the victim. Under the bill, violators would be guilty of a Class I felony.
Dane County D-A Ismael Ozanne (ISH-ml oh-zann) says there will potentially be more work for prosecutors, but it doesn’t mean the behavior should be ignored.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee discussed the bill on Thursday at the state Capitol.