MBTA Police Make First Arrest With New ‘Upskirting’ Law
BOSTON (CBS/AP) – MBTA Police have made their first arrest under the new “upskirting” law.
Officers were called to the Forest Hills station at 5:45 p.m Tuesday for a report of a man taking pictures up a woman’s dress.
The victim told police she was standing in the upper bus way when she felt “something” brush against her knees.
“When the victim looked down she observed a man’s hand, between her legs, holding an Apple iPad with the camera on facing up her skirt,” Transit Police said in a statement Wednesday.
The man then hopped on a Route 34 bus and left.
But prosecutors say the victim was able to provide police with description of the suspect along with photos that she had managed to take of him.
Police tracked down the bus, stopped it and found a man who fit the suspect’s description and was holding an Ipad.
Officers took 23-year-old Joshua Gonsalves of Norwood off the bus for questioning.
“Gonsalves stated to the officers he heard on the news it was not illegal to ‘take pictures up a girl’s skirt’,” police said in their statement.
“Gonsalves then admitted to the offending deed and insinuated this was not his first time doing so.”
He was arrested and arraigned Wednesday in West Roxbury District Court. Bail was set at $150, and ordered to Gonsalves was ordered to stay away from all MBTA property.
The upskirting law went into effect on March 7, two days after the state’s highest court ruled that a man who took cellphone photos up the skirts of female subway passengers in Boston wasn’t violating state law as written.
The law punishes “upskirting” with a maximum penalty of two-and-a-half years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
The maximum penalties would increase to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if the victim is a child.
“Let’s make this explicit for anyone who missed the follow-up news reports,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said in a statement. “Everyone has a right to privacy under their own clothes. Transit Police will arrest you and we will prosecute you if you violate it. We encourage anyone to come forward about this behavior, victims and witnesses alike.”
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