Senate Acts to Protect Women’s Privacy Rights

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
MASSACHUSETTS SENATE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053

Senator Joan B. Lovely
State Senator
2nd Essex District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 7, 2014 

SENATE ACTS TO PROTECT WOMEN’S PRIVACY RIGHTS

(Boston) The Senate on Thursday passed a bill to update the law and make it illegal for a photo or video to be taken under a person’s clothing without their knowledge, Senator Lovely announced.

“It was extremely upsetting and disappointing to learn that the law did not fully protect a woman’s privacy, but I’m very pleased that the Senate corrected this issue swiftly and unanimously”, said Senator Lovely. “Strengthening and updating this law was necessary because we, as legislators, should do everything we can to completely protect a woman’s privacy”.

“I am proud of the Senate for taking action today to restore a women’s right to privacy,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “We are sending a message that to take a photo or video of a woman under her clothing is morally reprehensible and, in Massachusetts, we will put you in jail for doing it. We will need to revisit this law again and again as technology continues to evolve and ensure that we are providing the necessary protections.”

The bill makes taking a photograph or recording under or around a person’s clothing a misdemeanor when a reasonable person would believe that their sexual or other intimate parts would not be visible to the public. The bill includes punishments of imprisonment in the house of correction for up to two and a half years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

The bill also expands the current dissemination statute for adults to include taking a photograph or recording under or around a person’s clothing without their knowledge. The current statute includes a possible state prison sentence of up to five years if charged with a felony.

In addition, the bill enhances penalties for taking a photograph or recording of a child under 18-years-old by adding a possible state prison sentence of up to five years if charged with a felony and increasing the fine to up to $10,000. The bill penalizes the dissemination of these photographs or recordings with a state prison sentence of up to 10 years.

 

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