Lingle signs ‘video
voyeur’ bill into law

The legislation prohibits the
photographing of private areas in public

After Tyler Takehara, 50, of Pearl City, was charged last year with using a small, concealed camera to shoot video up the skirts of unsuspecting women riding escalators at Ala Moana Center, his attorney argued successfully it was not against the law.

Gov. Linda Lingle has fixed that, signing into law a bill that closes the legal loophole that let Takehara off the hook.

The new law prohibits the recording or broadcasting of "an image of another person's intimate area underneath clothing, by use of any device, and such image is taken while that person is in a public place and without that person's consent."

The charge for either the surreptitious recording or the transmitting of the image over the Internet would be a second-degree violation of privacy, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

In its report on the bill, the House Judiciary Committee said it found "that advancement in technology has provided opportunity for 'video voyeurism' in public places."

"A change in the offense of violation of privacy will address the growing concern for the offensive practice of 'upskirt photography,'" the committee said.

Takehara was accused of video taping at least 29 unsuspecting women at the state's largest mall in August, but prosecutors determined Hawaii's video privacy law was written only to prevent tiny cameras from being installed in private places, such as bathrooms.

"There is no invasion of privacy with the language of the statute and the conduct that was done," said Pat McPherson, Takehara's attorney.

City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle urged the Legislature to change the law, saying "this is not the type of thing we should tolerate under any circumstances in our community."

At the time the bill was being considered, Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Colleen Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli-Makua) said she was concerned it could include taking pictures in public and inadvertently catching someone in the background bending over and exposing their underwear.

State of Hawaii

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