The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said Wednesday that a law used to charge a man who took photos up women's skirts on a Boston subway does not apply.
The photos were taken in a public place and the women were not in a state of undress.
State residents and lawmakers are shocked to hear the ruling.
"That's ridiculous. He has no right," said Nicole Anderson, of South Hadley.
Michael Robertson, of Andover, was arrested in August of 2010 by transit police in a sting operation after they had heard he was taking photos up women's skirts on the MBTA.
"Honestly I can't understand how a man would do something like that. It's really creepy," said Brandon LaBreque, of Chicopee.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Wednesday that the law, as written, only applies to people in private places or when they are nude or partially nude.
"That's ridiculous. How can you - you can't even go outside fully dressed and modestly fully dressed given and not have someone take pictures of you," Anderson said.
The court did say that riders should have protection from peeping Toms on the train, but the law needs to be updated.
"I don't think a situation like that should be grandfathered in, absolutely not. I think it should start with him and never end," LaBreque said.
House Speaker Robert Deleo said in a statement that he's unhappy with the ruling and the legislature would take action to update the law.
"You're invading somebody's privacy whether they're choosing to do it or not. It shouldn't even be debated. I don't even understand how it's not in the law books already," Anderson said.
Prosecutors said after the ruling that they plan to take the matter to the legislature and request a rewrite.
Copyright 2014 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.