Statement issued Friday:
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 7, 2011) – A key Senate committee will consider a proposal Tuesday by State Sen. Tom Wyss (R-Fort Wayne) to help protect Hoosiers by making it illegal to take or distribute ‘upskirt’ pictures or video of a person in public.
Members of the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters will review the bill at 9 a.m. in Room 130 of the Statehouse.
“These photos have become a growing problem with the advancements in technology,” Wyss said. “Many cell phones are equipped with a camera which gives offenders an opportunity to infringe on the public privacy of women. I crafted this legislation after an incident in DeKalb County where the prosecution was unable to file a charge against the suspect, because the inappropriate photo was taken in a public place.
“Similar incidents in Marion and Elkhart counties have left prosecutors frustrated. I will continue to work hard to close this loophole to protect more Hoosiers.”
Current law prohibits taking photos of a person without his or her consent in a private place – bath, dressing room, restroom and shower – but provides no protection for public places and does not yet address the Internet.
“Victims are unaware that the photos are being taken or even that their privacy is being violated until the crime has been committed,” Wyss said. “Some of the offenders publish the video or inappropriate images on web sites. With the advancements in technology there must also be improvements in our laws.”