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Local Woman Fighting for Tougher Laws Against 'Upskirt' Photography

Local Woman Fighting for Tougher Laws Against 'Upskirt' Photography

Haile Ricketts had never been a political activist.  But, when she was the victim of a particularly creepy crime, and then found out that the crime is not against the law in Texas, she dedicated herself to getting the law changes, and is gathering major support in her efforts, 1200 WOAI news reports.

Ricketts, 23, told 1200 WOAI’s Joe Pags that it all started when she was in a clothing store at the Shops at LaCantera, minding her own business.

“All of a sudden, I felt hands between my legs,” she recalled.  “He was dressed like a woman, he was wearing a skirt, a long haired wing, and a small heel.”

And the guy dressed as a woman was taking pictures up her skirt with his smart phone.

As soon as she realized what had happened she yelled, and other customers grabbed the guy.  And it turns out that he had done it before--lots of times before.

“San Antonio Police have found 50 plus videos on the same cell phone that he was using to take pictures of me,” she said.

Ricketts says the guy was very adroit at taking ‘upskirt’ photographs, and she suspects that many of the women who’s images are on that phone probably had no idea they were being photographed.  She says the only way she spotted the guy was when he apparently lost his balance on his high heel and reflexively grabbed her leg for support.

But then it got weird.  She says the man was arrested and taken to the magistrate, who ordered him released.

It seems that the state law banning what is called ‘improper photography’ has been placed on hold by the Fourth Court of Appeals.

“The Fourth Court of Appeals, which is in the San Antonio area, is the court which is questioning the law right now,” she said.  “So right now, he is not a criminal.”

The Appeals Court acted on a case involving a man who was photographing random children at Sea World.  The court ruled that the law is too vague and violates the First Amendment if it prohibits taking photographs in a public place.

Ricketts says what is under her skirt is definitely not a ‘public place,’ and she has gotten the support of several key lawmakers, including San Antonio State Rep. Lyle Larson, in an attempt to get the Legislature to rewrite the law when they convene in January.

 

 

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