Former grocery store clerk Brandon Lee Gary, who used his cellphone to take video up a woman shopper’s dress
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

House version of ‘upskirting’ bill approved

The Georgia House on Friday approved legislation making it illegal to secretly film or take photographs of a person’s private parts, the second such bill to advance in the General Assembly this year. 

The Senate on Wednesday passed its own version

House Bill 9, sponsored by Rep. Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire, passed 156-1. Rep. Beth Beskin, R-Atlanta, was the only “no” vote.  

Both bills are in response to a 2016 Georgia Court of Appeals ruling that overturned an invasion-of-privacy conviction against a grocery store clerk who took videos up a woman’s skirt while she was shopping. 

HB 9 would make “upskirting” a felony, with a prison sentence of up to 5 years. Senate Bill 45 is nearly identical, although it includes fines of up to $100,000.  

Beskin said while she agrees the practice of “upskirting” is horrendous, she is concerned that over time HB 9 would lead to “modesty” laws that encourage or require “women to drape ourselves in heavy clothing to avoid something like this.”

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