- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - As part of an ongoing push to strengthen the state’s privacy laws, Oregon Senate lawmakers on Tuesday cleared a measure making it a felony to secretly record someone while they are nude and in a private area.

The state Senate gave unanimous approval to the bill, which would increase the penalties for someone who sneaks a camera into a private room, like a bedroom or bathroom, and records the occupants without their knowledge. Culprits would only be required to register as sex offenders if a court decides it’s necessary for the community’s safety.

It’s currently a misdemeanor to violate the personal privacy laws, and prosecutors have argued the statutes haven’t been able to keep up with the pace of changing technology.

“We wrote the bill very specifically to address the situation of people who are hiding these little tiny cameras in places where somebody has the expectation of privacy,” former state representative Denyc Boles told a joint subcommittee last week.

The measure targets cases like Bryan Duane Tilley, a Keizer man who pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and invasion of privacy last October. Tilley was accused of stalking his college-aged stepdaughter and hiding cameras to record women undressing. He was sentenced to serve nearly four years in prison, but not because of the invasion of privacy charges.

His stepdaughter Ashley Buckle said in submitted testimony that she went to police after someone hijacked her social media accounts, and they later discovered her stalker was her stepfather. Buckle’s mother, Cathy McInnis, said they were shocked to hear Tilley would only be charged with a misdemeanor for taping Buckle and that he would serve more time for the burglary charges.

“We are not only victims of this crime, we are also victims of the law of enforcement due to current Oregon laws,” McInnis told the subcommittee.

Gov. Kate Brown has also signed two other bills aimed at keeping state laws in line with new technology.

One measure increased penalties for those who sneak photos up women’s dresses without their consent. Supporters of that bill say it closes a loophole that allowed a man to escape unpunished after he snapped photos up a teenager’s skirt in a Target store. And so-called “revenge porn,” sharing intimate images of someone without that person’s consent, is now also a crime.

The measure now heads back to the House for consideration.

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HB 2356

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