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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 12, 2020 04:05 PM
From: Representative Wendy Ullman and Rep. Craig T. Staats
To: All House members
Subject: Upskirting: Justice for Children Victimized in Schools and Elsewhere
Imagine if you, your daughter, your sister-mother-friend, were victimized through upskirting and then had those photos posted to illicit websites where other individuals could view, download, and further share them. An extremely traumatic form of sexual abuse, upskirting violates a victim’s sense of autonomy, personal safety, trust, and very selfhood. Now, imagine the embarrassment and pain when your friends, peers, neighbors, and community at large become aware and find these images.

For teenage girls, at a highly vulnerable time in life, this is shattering – we cannot even begin to fathom the shame, betrayal, and anxiety that they would feel. Victimization by a trusted individual, for example, a teacher, in a place meant to encourage you to be creative, feel safe, and have fun, where your journey to selfhood is meant to be nurtured and your emerging adult personality should thrive, is especially damaging. Finally, upon revelation of the crime, imagine if the only criminal charges that could be brought against the victimizer were misdemeanors, no more serious in the eyes of the law than minor shoplifting – up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500 in exchange for a lifetime of trauma.

This happened to several young women in a school district we share, where a male teacher took “upskirt” photographs and posted them to illicit websites. Our legislation aims to dramatically increase the charges that can be brought against teachers and adults who victimize students and minors through upskirting, making the offense a felony of the third degree for a first violation and a felony of the second degree for subsequent offenses.

For the sake of our students and minors, we ask for your support of this legislation. These offenders must face sentences that reflect the seriousness of this heinous and extremely psychologically damaging crime. We cannot let the actions of even one more perverted individual continue to weigh on the shoulders of the young women in our care.

Introduced as HB2453