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Georgia Court of Appeals rules upskirt photos not a crime

'It is regrettable that no law currently exists which criminalizes Gary’s reprehensible conduct.'

 

April Siese

IRL

Published Jul 22, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 10:04 am CDT

The Georgia Court of Appeals has ruled that upskirt photos are considered legal in the state, thereby throwing out a felony conviction for one Brandon Lee Gary, who faced a charge of invasion of privacy in 2013. Gary, who was working at a Publix supermarket at the time, was caught by a shopper as he bent down near her to snap photos and video of her crotch.

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The woman initially thought he was tying his shoe, until she caught him with his cellphone out while she was shopping in another aisle. Gary was convicted and sentenced to five years probation. His lawyer appealed simply because no legislation covers such an act.

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Following his conviction being overturned, public defender Michael Rivera had this to say about Gary: “While what Mr. Gary did was objectionable, there’s not a law on the books that outlaws this specific act. This case is a testament to the Court of Appeals interpreting a law the way it was written and not engaging in judicial intervention.”

This logic makes up the backbone of the court supporting the appeal. In explaining that invasion of privacy laws simply didn’t extend to such technological violations, Judge Elizabeth Branch called the decision to overturn the conviction “regrettable.”

Following the ruling, state Rep. Rich Golick spoke out about the lack of laws protecting people from upskirt photos and videos.

“This has nothing to do with how people feel about law enforcement. This has to do with the integrity of the grand jury process,” Golick told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Right now, we have a framework that allows for the possibility, the potential, for that process to be compromised or unduly influenced in one direction. That’s something we can’t live with.”

H/T Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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*First Published: Jul 22, 2016, 11:38 pm CDT