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Style & Beauty

Surge In Upskirt Photography Has Lawmakers In A Twist

On a warm summer day two years ago, a 16-year-old girl put on a skirt and headed to the SuperTarget in her hometown of Tulsa, Okla. As she shopped the air-conditioned aisles, a man knelt behind her, carefully slid a camera in between her bare legs and snapped a photo of her underwear. Police arrested the 34-year-old man, but the charges were ultimately dropped on the grounds that the girl did not, as required by the state's Peeping Tom law, have "a right to a reasonable expectation of privacy," given the public location. In non-legalese: Wear a skirt in public, and you might just get a camera in the crotch.

Locals were outraged. Most women slipping on a summer dress aren't hoping to star in an amateur - or, worse yet, professional - porno, just as most men don't expect strangers to take a snapshot of their package when they wear shorts in public. In response to the ruling, Rep. Pam Peterson, R-Tulsa, introduced a bill making it illegal in Oklahoma to take unauthorized photos of someone's private areas in public; it went into effect earlier this month. For the same reason, nearly half the states have had to enact similar laws.