McCabe bill to crack down on voyeurism passes state House

A bill to further penalize voyeurism received approval from the Washington State House of Representatives Thursday.

Rep Gina McCabe, House Bill 1200's sponsor and a former varsity coach and performing arts studio owner, says she introduced the legislation after learning about the practice of “upskirting,” where someone uses their mobile device to take a photo or record video under individuals' skirts. Under current law, a person must prove he or she was engaged in voyeurism for the purpose of arousal or sexual gratification. McCabe's bill would eliminate that provision, and create a crime of voyeurism in the second degree.

“After learning that some of the girls I coached were apprehensive to wear skirts because they were afraid of a classmate 'upskirting' them, I thought 'how is this not punishable by law already?',” said McCabe, R-Goldendale. “Women should feel safe walking in the halls of their school, sitting on bleachers during a sporting event, and riding the escalators at the mall. We need this important public safety bill.”

McCabe said had the bill been enacted into law, recent victims in Washington would have had a clear course of action. As recently as this summer, a Seattle TSA worker was caught taking photos underneath women's dresses and skirts. Nearly two years ago, a teacher at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, WA was arrested on two counts of voyeurism after taking an upskirt photo of a student.

House Bill 1200 moves on to the Senate for further consideration.


Washington State House Republican Communications