Make Upskirting in Tennessee Illegal
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Several months ago, I was checking out at a gas station when I felt something brush against the back of my leg. I turned around to see a man pulling his phone away from me and his young son asked him what he had taken a picture of. He responded by shushing him. In shock from the realization that he had taken a picture up my skirt, I didn't respond except to finish checking out and prepared to leave when I felt him do it again. I quickly left the store and drove around so I could see and take down his license plate number. I felt sickened and violated and I called the police. They found and arrested him two days later, and he confessed immediately. Today, they finally had his hearing and subpoenaed me only for the assistant District Attorney to tell me that there is no expectation of privacy in a public setting. So, despite the fact that he had confessed, I had NOT given consent, and that he had done it in front of his son, his case was dismissed by a judge. There were two cases exactly like mine where the judge had ruled the same thing, and, though the prosecuting attorney tried to make it clear that this was wrong and that "the State cannot believe that this is considered law, and it is our belief that this man's intent was not innocent" the judge ruled that it was legal. The only case where this has been successfully prosecuted was in the case of a minor. I know that there is no hope to change the ruling on my case, but now this man knows that he can do it again with no repercussions.
This law needs to change. It is unacceptable that people can be violated like this and the perpetrator faces virtually no consequences. Tennessee's legislators should take notes from Texas and Massachusetts and other states where "upskirting" and "invasive visual recording" and "unlawful photography" are crimes that can actually be prosecuted and convicted.
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