A 13-year-old girl innocently shopping in a Portland Target quickly became a sexual assault victim when 61-year-old Patrick Buono aimed his camera and took photos directly up her skirt.
Shockingly, because the photos were taken in a public space, what Buono did was completely legal under Oregon law.
Under Oregon's legal code, it is perfectly OK to photograph anyone in public -- even a minor, and even under their clothing. The argument is that such a photograph taken in public is just "accidental," no matter how invasive it may be. So Buono was acquitted for his horrifying crime just because the law offers no protection for victims of this act.
There are many states that have implemented laws specifically criminalizing up-skirt photos. In New York, taking up-skirt photos is punishable with up to four years in prison. And in New Jersey, taking these photos is a fourth-degree defense, punishable with up to a $10,000 fine and 18 months in jail.
In 2015, a similar bill was introduced in Oregon that would have banned up-skirt photos, but it never became a law. Because of that, men like Buono can continue taking lewd photos in public without having to worry about prosecution.
We must all stand up for the 13-year-old girl who bravely testified against the man who violated her privacy, only to find her case dismissed on a technicality. Sign our petition and tell Oregon’s lawmakers that they need to pass a law that criminalizes all lewd photos taken in public with a malicious intent.