Unlawful photography law strengthens punishment for offenders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It was a big day on Capitol Hill Thursday as Gov. Bill Haslam signed many new bills. One in particular deals with harsher punishment for people who take inappropriate pictures of others when they don’t know it.

House Bill 1448, sponsored by Rep. Mike Sparks,changes an existing law that deals with cases like what sportscaster Erin Andrews went through.

A man secretly recorded video of her through a peep hole while she was naked inside her Nashville hotel room.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing a rise in this type of crime, and it’s happening in our own backyard,” said Rep. Sparks, who is with District 49.

This week, police in Murfreesboro are investigating after shoppers saw a man in a Publix super market taking inappropriate pictures of a woman as she bent over.

In another case that occurred at a Kohl’s department store, witnesses saw a man taking inappropriate pictures of a woman as she bent over.

The new measure gives judges the authority to put anyone convicted of unlawful photography on the sex offender registry list for up to 10 years.

“We need to let people know that if they are going to do this, if the are thinking about taking pictures or video, that it’s not okay, that no one has given consent for this and it’s absolutely unacceptable,” said Jennifer Beckwith, Legislative Assistant for District 49.

House BIll 1448 goes into effect July 1.

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