Portland, Oregon. Their semi-unofficial motto is Keep Portland Weird and they’re living up to it. In spades.
The State of Oregon has a privacy law. The privacy law bans clandestine photography in bathrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms and tanning booths and also specifies nudity. The point of the law seems to focus on places where you would have “an expectation of privacy” and be in some state of undress.
A judge in Portland, Eric Butterfield, ruled last week that a public aisle in a Target store isn’t someplace you should expect any sort of privacy.
The case involved a voyeuristic phenomenon known as “upskirting,” which state law does not expressly prohibit.
Buono approached the girl Jan. 3, 2014, in a Beaverton Target. She didn’t notice him stick his cellphone under her skirt, but someone else did.
The eyewitness reported the incident, and store surveillance video confirmed it. Buono’s ex-girlfriend testified that he broke down and told her what he had done, fearful that he would be caught.
Buono’s defense: Yes, he did it. But what he did defied no law.
Needless to say, Buono had no problem finding a lawyer, one Mark Lawrence, to defend his actions. After all, every old pervert has a right to criminal defense. And in Portland, the City of Weird, he had no problem finding a judge who could enable the old pervert.
Here’s how judge Butterfield ruled.
The behavior was “lewd” and “appalling,” the judge said, but it did not violate any statute on the books in Oregon.
“From a legal point of view, which unfortunately today is my job to enforce, he didn’t do anything wrong,” Judge Eric Butterfield said.
As to the counts of attempted second-degree encouraging child sex abuse, the defense argued that the girl was not engaging in sexual conduct, which that statute requires.
The prosecutor countered that Buono took the photos hoping they would be explicit — and that constituted an attempt toward the crime.
But the judge determined that the teenager’s private parts were covered, and her conduct was not sexual.
“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,” he said.
It was Buono’s behavior that was lewd, the judge said; it was not, however, outlawed.
There you have it. If you’re a fan of “upskirting” Portland, City of Weird, is the place for you.
We would hope that the good citizens of Portland, assuming one or two can be found, would pressure the legislature to rectify this situation and get a law passed that makes this practice what it is: a felony, and a sex crime. Buono, at a minimum, should be a registered sex offender.
Given the way Portland votes, both Buono and the judge are probably Democrats. Part of their war on women and children. Teddy Kennedy would be proud of them.