Loophole in Georgia privacy law leaves questions about "upskirting" in public

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 21:39:23-04

After the conviction of a Georgia man was overturned because of a loophole in the state’s privacy law, women across the country are questioning their privacy in public places. 

A divided Georgia Court of Appeals ruled last week that grocery store employee Brandon Lee Gary did not break the law even after admitting that he took cell phone video up a woman’s skirt while she was shopping. 

Georgia’s law stipulates that its illegal to photograph or record the activities of another person “which occur in any private place and out of public view.” 

The court ruled that because the upskirting incident happened in a public grocery store, the statute did not apply and he did not break the law. 

The loophole was blasted by women across the country, who started turning to their own state’s privacy statutes and questioning their privacy. 

“I have on a skirt covering myself for a reason,” said Cleveland area resident Rhonda Henley. “I don’t want anyone I don’t know to have a picture of anything that’s covered out in public.”

Criminal defense attorney Ian Friedman told that women in Ohio should not have the same concerns that Georgia women do. 

Section 2907.08 of Ohio’s Revised Code says that no person may “invade the privacy of another” and specifically addresses recording “another person under or through the clothing being worn by that other person.” 

Friedman says the key is that it doesn’t mention a public or private place. 

“There is a statute on the books here in Ohio that would fit that conduct squarely and that conviction would have held,” he explained.

Friedman said that while nearly any statute is challengeable, the outcome will most likely be a change to Ohio law. 

“No politician intended to put a loophole on the books but that’s what happens,” he said. You can’t foresee every possible situation that happens and the law evolves.”