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Georgia Court Rules Filming Up A Skirt Is Wrong — But Not Illegal

REUTERS/Tami Chappell

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A Georgia court of appeals ruled a man who filmed up a woman’s skirt in a grocery store did not break the law.

A Georgia Court of Appeals overturned a previous ruling that convicted Brandon Lee Gary because he took a cellphone video up a woman’s skirt, reports CBS News. Gary, a former grocery store employee, had been convicted of breaking Georgia’s Invasion of Privacy Act.

While working at a Publix grocery store, Gary took out his cellphone, crouched down and secretly filmed up a woman’s skirt. He repeated his actions about four times while the woman was shopping at the store.

In a 6-3 opinion, the court overturned Gary’s conviction and said while his actions were wrong, he did not actually break any laws. Judge Elizabeth Branch said in the July 15 ruling it is “regrettable that no law currently exists which criminalizes Gary’s reprehensible conduct.”

Gary’s attorneys previously argued while Gary was wrong, the woman was in a public place, so she could not expect privacy. A majority of the court of appeals agreed, saying the law defines places as a physical location, not an area of the body. Therefore, Gary could not be convicted under the law.

“Unfortunately, there is a gap in Georgia’s criminal statutory scheme, in that our law does not reach all of the disturbing conduct that has been made possible by ever-advancing technology,” said Branch.

In the dissenting opinion, Judge Amanda Mercier disagreed, saying that the law does make it illegal to film up a woman’s skirt.

“But today, with the stroke of a pen, we are in effect negating the privacy protections from the intrusions of fellow citizens afforded to every person in this State because one definition of ‘place’ is afforded more weight than another,” Mercier wrote.

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