There's strange stuff coming out of Oklahoma's higher courts these days: for instance, the ruling stating that it's OK to stick a camera into a female's business.
Oh, yeah. A recent ruling by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals tossed out the case against Riccardo Gino Ferrante, charged in 2006 of taking photographs up a 16-year-old girl's skirt in a Tulsa-area Target store, according to The Associated Press.
According to the story, Ferrante, 34, was charged with a felony for violating a Peeping Tom law when he stalked a girl in the store, knelt down behind her and put a camera under her skirt.
The story states that in 2007, a Tulsa judge, Tom Gillert, ordered the charge against Ferrante dismissed because the girl was not "in a place where there is a right to a reasonable expectation of privacy."
The Tulsa County district attorney's office appealed that decision (go figure), only to get this ruling:
"We agree with the district court's analysis," read the opinion, which Appeals Judge Charles Johnson wrote. Judges Charles Chapel, David Lewis and Arlene Johnson " yeah, she's a woman " concurred.
So, a woman wearing a skirt and panties in public can't expect what's under those garments to remain private? Whaaaaaat?
Appeals Judge Gary Lumpkin had the same reaction. According to the story, he wrote in his dissent that "what this decision does is state to women who desire to wear dresses that there is no expectation of privacy as to what they have covered with their dress."
"In other words," Lumpkin wrote, "it is open season for Peeping Toms in public places who want to look under a woman's dress."
Ferrante's attorney, Kevin Adams, said the court had made the right ruling.
"I think it is a scenario where the law has not caught up with technology," Adams said.
Oh, we dunno. Could it be that instead there are a bunch of judges who haven't caught up with technology? Assistant District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said he will ask the Legislature to look into changing the law so said magistrates can understand it better.
"We certainly are going to seek to amend this statute to criminalize what we consider to be outrageous conduct," he said. -Gazette staff