Victim Turns Tables on “Upskirt” Suspect, Gives His Photo to Police
BOSTON, June 25, 2014—A Norwood man is the first person in Suffolk County to be charged under the state’s updated “upskirting” statute after a woman gave police photographs she’d taken of a man who pointed his iPad’s camera up her skirt, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
JOSHUA GONSALVES (9/19/90) was arraigned in West Roxbury Municipal Court on a charge of photographing an unsuspecting person in the nude. The statute was updated earlier this year after the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruled against Suffolk prosecutors and found that the previous version of the statute on the books in Massachusetts did not provide protection against the act of photographing intimate parts of a person’s body otherwise covered by clothing. The current iteration of the statute, signed into law March 7 at Conley’s urging, closed that loophole.
Assistant District Attorney Kristina Kerwin requested bail of $1,000 and that Gonsalves be ordered to stay away from all MBTA property in the event he is released on bail. Judge Ernest Sarason set bail at $150 and granted the requested condition of release.
Kerwin told the court that Transit Police were called to the busway at Forest Hills MBTA station at approximately 5:45 p.m. yesterday, where they spoke with the 26-year-old victim. The woman told officers that a man later identified as Gonsalves was standing in front of her as she waited for her bus but then disappeared from her line of vision. She then felt something brush against the inside of her right knee and saw Gonsalves sitting on a bench and holding an iPad that was faced up the victim’s dress, prosecutors said.
The victim was able to provide police with description of the individual as well as photos she had taken of him before he boarded a Route 34E bus and left the station.
As officers spoke with the victim, additional officers responded in the area of Washington Street and Granfield Avenue, where the bus Gonsalves had reportedly boarded was awaiting their arrival.
Gonsalves, who was holding an iPad in his hand when approached by police, was asked to exit the bus. During a conversation with police, Gonsalves allegedly made statements that he had seen news reports that photographing up a woman’s skirt was not illegal, prosecutors said.
“Let’s make this explicit for anyone who missed the follow-up news reports,” Conley said. “Everyone has a right to privacy under their own clothes. Transit Police will arrest you and we will prosecute you if you violate it. We encourage anyone to come forward about this behavior, victims and witnesses alike.”
Gonsalves is represented by Charles Pappas. He will return to court August 22.
The events listed above are allegations; All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.