ACLU-PA Position: Opposes
In order to criminalize "upskirting" (a behavior already punishable under current statute), SB 521 expands the scope of invasion of privacy under 18 Pa.C.S. § 7507.1 by selectively increasing the grading for adults or teachers convicted invasion of privacy in the following ways:
- M3 (Max 1 year incarcerated; $2,500 in fines) → F3 (Max 7 years in prison; $15,000 in fines)
- 2nd/subsequent: M2 (Max 2 years incarcerated; $5,000) → F2 (Max 10 years in prison; $25,000)
Who commits this offense and against whom will result in wildly different penalties. By way of context, as a third-degree misdemeanor, invasion of privacy is currently graded the same as disorderly conduct, loitering, or stealing something worth less than $50. But under SB 521, if you are an adult or teacher convicted of the same offense, first time offenses are graded as third-degree felonies, the same as arson or institutional sexual assault of a minor. Two or more convictions would be graded as second-degree felonies, the same as involuntary manslaughter of a child or statutory sexual assault. For everyone else with two or more convictions, the offense is graded as a second-degree misdemeanor — the same grading as shoplifting or impersonating a public servant.
Check the bill's status here.