By Charlotte Alter
October 10, 2014

Correction appended, Oct. 15

Prosecutors have dropped a case against a man accused of taking photographs up women’s skirts at the Lincoln Memorial, after a local judge ruled the photographs inadmissible and said women in public places shouldn’t have an expectation of privacy.

Christopher Cleveland was arrested in June 2013 for allegedly taking photographs of the crotches and butts of women sitting on the steps to the national monument. On Aug. 28, D.C. Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna ruled that the photographs would be inadmissible, leading the U.S. Attorney’s Office to drop the case against Cleveland last last month.

Prosecutors filed a motion to keep the photographs admissible, writing that women are entitled to a “reasonable expectation of privacy” while sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In her ruling to suppress evidence, Judge McKenna wrote, “Some women are seated in such a way that their private areas, including the upper inches of their buttocks, are clearly visible. … This court finds that no individual clothed and positioned in such a manner in a public area in broad daylight in the presence of countless other individuals could have a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Which means Christopher Cleveland, and other photographers like him, are free to snap away as they please.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the date of Judge Juliet McKenna’s ruling.

Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com.

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