A state appeals court, ruling in a case out of Bexar County, has thrown out the Texas Improper Photography law as an unconstitutional violation of free speech, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed vows to appeal.
The law makes it a state jail felony for an individual to photograph another person without their consent 'to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of another person.'
The court threw out the case of Ronald Thompson, 50, who was arrested in July of 2011 after parents complained that Thompson was photographing their children in a swimming pool. When police questioned Thompson, they found73 photographs on his camera of children in swimsuits, many focusing on the 'breast and buttocks' area of young girls, aged 3-11.
Thompson was indicted on 26 counts of violating the Improper Photography statute.
Reed points out that the law has been upheld by other Texas appellate courts, and the State Supreme Court will decide its fate.
"The act of photographing children in this manner is viewed by some experts as a stepping stone toward more aggressive behavior as these individuals begin to act on their fantasies," Reed said.
The court also ruled that the law is unconstitutionally vague because of questions about what constitutes 'arousal or gratification.'