TRENTON, NJ - The New Jersey Senate unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Republican Senators Tom Kean (Union, Somerset, Morris) and Kevin O’Toole (Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) that would prohibit “upskirting” pictures by adding the offense to the state’s invasion of privacy laws.
“Upskirting” occurs when a person is filmed or photographed underneath their clothing without their consent and when they would not expect to be exposed in that fashion.
“With cellphone cameras now almost ubiquitous throughout our society, there are more chances for voyeurs to exploit people’s privacy,” Kean said. “We need to make sure our laws are equipped to punish people using technology to expose others when they are vulnerable or unsuspecting.”
“When violating someone’s privacy is as easy as pulling out your phone and snapping a pic, we need to establish tough laws that levy strict penalties against anyone who perpetrates this sickening act,” O’Toole said. “People, especially women – who are the most common targets for ‘upskirting’ – should not have to live with the fear of being exposed, whether it’s in public or private.”
The legislation, S-345, makes it a crime of the fourth-degree to photograph, film, videotape, record, or otherwise reproduce in any manner the image of the undergarment-clad intimate parts of another person, without that person’s consent and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not expect to have those areas observed.
A fourth-degree crime is ordinarily punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months, of a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
If the images or recordings are disclosed in any way, including being posted to the internet or shared in any other way, it would become a crime of the third degree.
Third-degree crimes are ordinarily punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.