24 March 2008
Photographing of Woman's Legs Does Not Constitute Sexual Harassment
(Not actual photos - for illustrative purposes only)
South Korea's top court, the Supreme Court has ruled that a man who photographed the legs of a woman wearing a miniskirt on the subway without her knowledge, had not committed sexual harassment.
Kim, who is in his 30s, used a camera in his mobile phone to take the picture of the woman in her 20s, as she sat in front of him.
During questioning, police found the photo saved on his mobile phone and charged him with sexual harassment. The picture (not the ones shown here) showed the woman's legs with a skirt covering her thighs 10-15 centimetres above the knees.
The top court supported an acquittal by a lower court which said, "It is hard to say that the defendant took a picture of a part of another person’s body that can cause sexual desire or shame."
In South Korea, any unauthorised filming of someone else's body parts to create sexual desire or shame constitutes sexual harassment - a crime subject to five years in prison or a fine of up to 10 million won (US$ 10,000).
Women's groups have protested the court's acquittal.
"No matter which part of the body the man photographed, it is an infringement of human rights if he took the picture without her permission," said Kim Eun-kyung, a director of Korea Women’s Associations United.
"It is regrettable that recent court rulings are lenient to violators of women rights," she added.
Pervert Taking Upskirt Shots