Oregon Judge: Not Illegal For Man To Take Upskirt Photos Of A Minor

An Oregon judge has ruled that a man did nothing against the law when he crouched in a Beaverton Target aisle and took upskirt photos of a 13-year-old girl.

The 61-year-old man, Patrick Buono, was not seen by the girl during the incident, but someone else caught him sticking the camera under her skirt. Surveillance footage confirmed Buono’s actions, and his ex-girlfriend also testified Buono admitted his actions to her, according to The Oregonian.

The Portland, Oregon, man used a cellphone to take the pictures of the girl from under her skirt on January 3. Buono was facing two counts of invasion of privacy and two counts of attempted second-degree encouraging child sex abuse, according to the Associated Press.

Patrick Buono
Patrick Buono was acquitted of charges after he admitted to taking upskirt photos of a minor in a Target store.

Buono’s defense admitted he took the upskirt photos, but he had done nothing wrong. His defense attorney, Mark Lawrence, claims people need to take responsibility for their own expectations of privacy while in public. Upskirt sightings can happen even accidentally, he argued.

“These things are not only seen but video-recorded. It’s incumbent on us as citizens to cover up whatever we don’t want filmed in public places.”

Lawrence also pointed out that the minor was not nude and was wearing underwear, so invasion of privacy was a non-issue. Nudity is required in the Oregon invasion of privacy statute.

Deputy District Attorney Paul Maloney argued the minor had reasonable expectations of privacy as she shopped in Target.

“Sure, she’s in a public place. But she had an expectation of privacy that a deviant isn’t going to stick a camera up her skirt and capture private images of her body.”

While the judge, Eric Butterfield, admitted Buono’s actions were “lewd” and “appalling,” his actions were not against the law. Judge Butterfield determined the girls private parts were covered, and she was not behaving in a sexual manner. Since there was no sexual conduct, Buono would not face second-degree encouraging child sex abuse.

“What he’s taken a photograph of is a 13-year-old girl walking through a Target store, which is about as unlewd as you can get,” the judge ruled. “I’m extremely frustrated with this decision. It’s upsetting to say the least.”

The Deputy District Attorney was blunt about his frustrations in the limitations of the law.

“We knew what this man had done, and we knew why he had done it,” Maloney said. “And it’s incredibly frustrating that, under the current interpretation of Oregon law, this is not a crime.”

After he was acquitted for taking the upskirt photos of the minor in Oregon, Buono shook hands with his lawyer and quickly left the courtroom.

[Image via WCSO]