, ,

Assembly Approves Bill That Makes ‘Upskirting’ A Felony

Practice Is Currently Considered A Misdemeanor


The Wisconsin state Assembly has voted to make the act of secretly taking a photo of someone’s genitals, buttocks or breasts a felony.

In a voice vote, the Assembly on Thursday approved a bill that would make what is known as “upskirting” a Class I felony. That is punishable by up to three and a half years in prison.

Madison Democrat Melissa Sargent said there’d been a man in her district caught on repeated occasions taking secret photos of women.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“Women who were shopping in stores with their children, minding their own business, not knowing that they were being victimized,” she said. “This is disgusting and creepy behavior, I think we can all agree.”

Sargent said women shouldn’t be afraid to be in public spaces.

The offense is currently handled as an invasion of privacy in Wisconsin courts. That is a misdemeanor that carries up to nine months in jail as a penalty.

Supporters of the bipartisan bill said there is an upskirting case in a state appeals court that will set a precedent. They said they hope the bill can be passed quickly so the appeals judge can apply a felony charge.