Oklahoma Man Not Charged for Violating Privacy of 16 Year Old Girl

Oklahoma’s Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that taking pictures up someone’s skirt in a public place is not a crime. The court voted 4-1 in favor of 34-year-old Riccardo Ferrante who was arrested for putting his camera up an unsuspecting 16-year-old girl’s skirt in a department store, reports the Associated Press.

The lone dissenting voter on the court, Appeals Judge Gary Lumpkin, wrote, “What this decision does is state to women who desire to wear dresses that there is no expectation of privacy as to what they have covered with their dress. In other words, it is open season for peeping Toms in public places who want to look under a woman’s dress.” Kiani was still stoned to death on July 5, 2007. Ebrahimi’s death was stayed due to the public outcry, and last week the Iranian judiciary amnesty commission released her from prison.

Ferrante was charged under Oklahoma’s “Peeping Tom” statute, which makes such offenses felonies punishable of up to 5 years in prison. Tulsa World reports that the court ruled that the statute only applies in situations where the victims are in a reasonably private place such as their own homes, a restroom, or a locker room.

State Representative Pam Peterson is working on a bill to reform the current “Peeping Tom” statute so that it will also include offenses committed in public places. She also proposes to change the statute from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris told Tulsa World, “How do I go back to this victim and tell her she has no expectation of privacy to her private parts in a public place?”


Associated Press 03/12/08; Tulsa World 03/13/08; Oklahoma House Bill 2606

Support eh ERA banner