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Victim of upskirt photo snapped in Cleveland hopes to evoke change to Tennessee law

Morgan King says a man took upskirt photos of her while she was in a Cleveland gas station last summer. King spoke up, but was told it wasn't illegal in Tennessee for the man to have taken the pictures. Now, it's her goal to make sure this doesn't happen to others. (Image: WTVC)

Last summer, Morgan King stopped by a gas station in Cleveland to buy snacks before heading into work.

Right away, something caught her attention.

"I noticed this guy was kind of leering at me outside, so I had my pepper spray in my hand," she said. "I walked in, noticed he had his child with him, so I put my pepper spray away thinking he wasn’t gonna try anything."

King grabbed her snacks and quickly walked over to the counter to pay.

"While I was paying, I felt something brush the back of my leg. I thought it was his kid bumping up against me accidentally until I turned around and saw him pulling his phone away. Then, I heard his kid asking, 'Daddy, what’d you take a picture of?' And he goes, 'Shh.' And I was like - 'he just took a picture up my skirt,'" King remembered.

She says that was only the first time.

"As I finished paying and started to walk out, I felt it again," King said.

She went outside, got the man's license plate number and called police.

Days later, police told King they found the man.

A few months after the incident, King got a subpoena letter to come to court.

"When I talked to the prosecutor she basically told me there wasn’t anyway they were going to be able to win the case because there were two cases before mine that set precedent saying that you have no expectation of privacy in a public place," King remembered.

The case was dismissed. King was devastated, but she wanted her story out there.

"I was so angry that I didn’t want it to happen ever again," she said.

After posting what happened on social media, Representative Kevin Brooks from Cleveland saw her story.

He made it his mission to change the law.

"There is actually case file and cases saying unless we strengthen the code and take out this loophole, unfortunately this man who was admittedly guilty was allowed to walk," Brooks said on the House floor.

Brooks sponsors, and now hopes to pass HB 1140, because King spoke up and chose to share her story.

Her goal is that something like this never happens again.

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