Man with Camera

Inside the Law: Creepy Versus Criminal

June 29, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions​

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- When does creepy become criminal? 

A South Carolina man was arrested because he was taking pictures of women in bikinis at the pool at his apartment complex. The charges were dropped, though, because he wasn’t doing anything illegal. 

Really? When does creepy become criminal? 

Not under those circumstance. When people are out in public, they don’t have an expectation of privacy so they can’t claim invasion of privacy if their pictures are taken, whether they’re in bathing suits or business suits, and whether taken by random guys or red light cameras. And while it’s true that the apartment complex is privately owned, when you’re outside in full view of others, it’s not considered a private space. Had he been taking pictures inside the changing rooms, the bathrooms, or in people’s apartment, then it would violate the women’s’ privacy rights. Or if he’d taken the pictures in an attempt to harass or intimidate them, he’d be violating the law. But just being odd or creepy in a public space with no bad intent isn’t illegal.

But word to the wise, you’ll get better pictures if your subjects aren’t scowling at you. Pick up on social cues, dude, and everyone will look happier.