Hoping to curb an increasingly common invasion of privacy, New Jersey Assemblyman Ron Dancer is taking aim at “electronic Peeping Toms” who secretly film beneath women’s clothing.Dancer, R-Ocean, said “upskirting” is occurring more often because of the prevalence of smartphones with built-in cameras.
“What we have today are these, what I would term, electronic Peeping Toms that are really predators,” he said Thursday. “And I think the law needs to be clear that this is a crime, and it’s an invasion of a woman’s privacy.”
But Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll expressed concerns about the standard of proof.
“What always comes to my mind when I hear one of these ‘upskirting’ bills is the famous Marilyn picture where her undergarments were blown up by the subway allegedly,” said Carroll, R-Morris. “Assume that happens on the streets today and someone happens to have a camera out or just takes advantage of it. Does that become a crime?”
The Assembly Judiciary Committee agreed with Dancer, advancing his bill that makes “upskirting” and posting the video or photos online punishable by up to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Saying that it’s troubling that offenders put those recordings on the Internet, Dancer said he believes tough penalties would be a deterrent.