A reporter for an Oklahoma newspaper was arrested Sunday after numerous high school girls accused him of taking photographs up their skirts during a graduation ceremony.
While this is an act that is illegal in many states, as it should be, it is apparently legal in Oklahoma after a 2008 court ruled it was legal as long as the women did not have an expectation of privacy.
Nevertheless, Nathaniel “Zeke” Campfield was charged with assault and battery after he allegedly bumped into several female students while snapping photos up their skirts.
When one of the students confronted him, he claimed innocence, showing her a picture of a tornado damage in the area that he had taken.
Yet when he was confronted by police, his camera contained no photos or memory card. In fact, he told officers that he had forgotten the memory card at home.
The Oklahoman, the newspaper Campfield works for, has not written about his arrest as of this writing.
Read the police reports here.
The 2008 court case involved a 34-year-old man named Riccardo Ferrante who followed a 16-year-old girl into a department store and pointed his camera up her skirt.
He was arrested under the state’s “peeping tom” statue, which made it a felony, but only in incidents where the women had an expectation of privacy, such as a bathroom, locker room or her home.
Because he recorded up the girl’s skirt in a Target, it was ruled that she did not have an expectation of privacy.
That prompted Oklahoma legislator Pam Peterson to introduce a bill that would make it a felony to record up woman’s skirts, even if they happen to be in public.
While the introduction of the bill received a fair share of media attention, I couldn’t find anything about the outcome of that bill, so maybe you can guys can help me out.
A similar ruling came out of Washington in 2002, although that may have also changed since then.
It’s disgusting, the state Supreme Court opined.
It’s reprehensible, the court added for good measure.
But it is not a crime to secretly take pictures up women’s skirts in public places, according to the high-court opinion handed down yesterday.
The opinion came in response to appeals by two men who challenged the state’s voyeurism law.
The men were caught in 1999 and 2000 crouching where they shouldn’t — one at a Union Gap mall in the Yakima Valley and the other at The Bite of Seattle at Seattle Center.
One planned to sell his photos to an Internet site that specializes in such shots. The other kept the videotapes for his private viewing but has since gone into treatment.
“Although (their) actions are reprehensible, we agree that the voyeurism statute, as written, does not prohibit upskirt photography in a public place,” Justice Bobbe Bridge, one of four women on the state Supreme Court, wrote in the unanimous opinion.
The 2004 federal Video Voyeurism Act goes a little further in defining an expectation of privacy as the “private area of the individual would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether that person is in a public or private place,” so I would imagine the 16-year-old girl mentioned above could have filed civil suit against Ferrante.