Spring may finally be here... which also means that there are disgusting pieces of garbage who think it's a great time to secretly film up women's skirts in NYC. Coinciding with the warmer weather, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and his office have announced a social media campaign to put "upskirters" on blast.

Vance's office explains that "upskirting" is the "unlawful, voyeuristic act of photographing a person without her knowledge or permission. Those who commit this serious criminal offense face charges of Unlawful Surveillance, a class E felony, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 1 1/3-to-4 years in prison and possible sex offender registration." And most of the time, it happens in busy subway train cars or stations where victims don't realize what's happening. Here's one graphic from the Manhattan DA's office:

2016_04_upskirtsubwaymap.jpg

Upskirting suspects are usually armed with cellphones or cameras. Back in 2013, a urologist used a special pen with a tiny camera to take upskirt photographs of women on the subway; he took a no-jail plea deal.

This past March, when we were blessed with a stretch of really nice weather (it was *really* nice), five men were arrested for allegedly photographing up women's skirts without their knowledge. At the A/C/E station at 14th Street in Manhattan, Yanco Alvarez, 50, is accused of walking behind women and angling a camera to film up their skirts; he allegedly told the officer who arrested him, "I'm sorry. I won't do it again."

At the 42nd Street-Grand Central 7 platform, Carlos Morocho, 29, allegedly watched a woman wearing a short dress descend the stairs and got his phone ready (switching the camera on and putting it in a mesh pocket of his backpack), following her onto the train. He allegedly ultimately positioned the backpack under her dress. Morocho also told an officer that he had been arrested for this before.

Another alleged upskirter at the Union Square station, Ranjit Kumble, 48, is accused of placing a camera in a backpack and placing it under a female subway rider's skirt—and then moving it each time the woman moved.

All three alleged upskirters have been charged with unlawful surveillance.

DA Vance said, "This is a serious crime with serious consequences. If convicted of Unlawful Surveillance, offenders face up to four years in prison, and possible sex offender registration. I urge New Yorkers to stay aware, and most of all, to report this behavior to law enforcement - either by telling a nearby police officer or calling 911. These are not victimless crimes, but damaging invasions of privacy, and so-called ‘upskirters’ will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

If you see or experience sexual misconduct in the subway (this includes seeing a masturbator, being groped, being grinded on, etc.), you can report it to the MTA and police on this website. There's also a place for you to upload photos and/or video. Don't let the perverts win.