- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - An appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of a southeastern Wisconsin man who secretly took photos up a woman’s skirt at a grocery store, rejecting his argument that women who wear skirts in public assume the risk that they might be photographed from any angle.

Jesse Schmucker was caught secretly taking photos up a woman’s skirt in 2013 and was convicted last year of two misdemeanors - disorderly conduct and attempting to capture an image of nudity. He was sentenced to nine months in jail.

Schmucker, 31, appealed the capturing nudity conviction, arguing that since the woman was wearing underwear, there was no way he could have committed the crime. He also contended that a woman assumes the risk in public that she might be viewed from any angle or vantage point.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals rejected both arguments.

Presiding Judge Lisa S. Neubauer wrote in the court’s opinion that trial testimony indicated that Schmucker didn’t know when he took pictures up women’s skirts whether they would be wearing underwear, and the fortuitous circumstances in this case - that the woman was wearing underwear - don’t negate his intent to commit a crime.

Neubauer concluded that the woman had a reasonable expectation of privacy that the area beneath her skirt would not be photographed at the store, pointing to trial Judge Joseph W. Voiland’s comments that a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy up her skirt whether she’s in a grocery store, a subway or a baseball game.

“The facts here were sufficient for the jury to determine that the woman had a reasonable assumption under the circumstances that her pubic area and buttocks were secluded from view, and the photography, of others,” Neubauer wrote.

Schmucker’s attorney, Jeffrey Jensen, said he was disappointed by the ruling and plans to recommend to Schmucker that they appeal to the state Supreme Court. He said the finding that a woman has a reasonable expectation that parts of her body that are clothed are private is a new interpretation of the state’s privacy laws.

State Rep. Jim Ott, R-Mequon, has introduced a bill that would make upskirting - the act of secretly taking photos of someone’s genitals, buttocks or breasts - a specific felony punishable by up to 3½ years in prison. Schmucker’s case was part of the impetus for the bill.

The measure passed the Assembly in January but has stalled in the Senate. An Ott aide didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the appellate ruling.

___

Follow Todd Richmond on Twitter at https://twitter.com/trichmond1

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide