A US court has ruled it is legal to film up a woman's skirt without consent due to a "gap" in the law surrounding invasion of privacy.
Brandon Lee Gary was prosecuted in 2013 on a single count of "unlawful eavesdropping and surveillance" after he was witnessed several times on CCTV footage taking video recordings with a mobile phone beneath the skirt of a customer while she was shopping.
Gary, who was employed by the supermarket when the filming occurred, admitted to the charge at a trial in Houston County Superior court where he was found guilty.
A spilt ruling at Georgia's Court of Appeal on 15 July reversed the invasion of privacy conviction against a Gary, after he appealed on the basis that he did not violate state law as it is written, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
Gary was prosecuted under Georgia's Invasion of Privacy Act, making it illegal to observe, photograph or film the activities of another person without consent when they occur "in any private place and out of public view".
The appeal, in which Gary asked for a new trial, argued that he had not broken the law as he had filmed the woman in a public place.
The court ruled in his favour despite a lower court ruling that Gary's conduct was “patently offensive” and that “a woman walking and shopping in a public place has a reasonable expectation of privacy on the area of her body concealed by her clothing".