By Syma Chowdhry
TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — It is a new type of voyeurism, except it can happen anywhere in public.
“They can take their cell phones and a camera and take pictures and it’s called upskirting because the pictures are taken underneath the ladies’ dress.”
Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker introduced new legislation to make upskirting a crime in New Jersey.
The Assembly judicial committee passed the legislation Thursday.
“This is something that is not appropriate. It’s an invasion of someone’s privacy.”
There are laws in place already against upskirting in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Eileen Stefanelli, of Ewing, says, “Is New Jersey that far behind everybody? It doesn’t make sense to me.”
“We hope it will be effective for the safety of women,” Gladys Hall, from Hamilton, adds.
Right now upskirting would fall under invasion of privacy laws in the state — but Tucker wants make it a specific crime.
Assemblywoman Tucker says, “We just want to make sure it is in our books in New Jersey, that we can manage it.”
The latest incident of upskirting in our area took place last month at a Wegmans in Montgomery Township.
Police say a woman was in the checkout line when she noticed a man bent down holding a cell phone under her skirt.
When she confronted him, he fled the store.
“I think it’s disgusting. I don’t understand why people have to do that and it’s an Invasion of privacy,” says Karin from Ewing.
Thelma Collins from Trenton says,”I think that is very embarrassing. I wouldn’t want anyone doing that to me.”
With the bill getting more attention, Tucker says it could make perpetrators think twice before committing the crime.
“It’s just something that happens all the time and we are just trying to make sure we take care of it.”
The measure makes upskirting a fourth degree offense.
It also makes it a third-degree offense if the images are shared online.
The bill now heads for a vote in the full Assembly.