By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
There are some cases that are so unbelievably asinine, I must remind the reader this is not April Fool’s Day.
A woman in Utah presently faces the possibility of a ten year sex offender registration mandate if a Utah judge convicts her of Misdemeanor Lewdness Involving A Child for walking inside her own home topless.
Yes, apparently one can be arrested for being nude in their own home if a child witnesses the horrorshow of a woman’s exposed breast. God help us if nursing women feed their babies.
The Defendant in this case stated that she and her husband were working in the garage and took off their shirts to avoid the dusty conditions dirtying their clothing, when unexpectedly their nine and thirteen-year-old stepchildren walked in. This reportedly happened in either late 2017 or early 2018.
When I began reading the source article, I had a foreboding that somehow Child Protective Service workers instigated this prosecution and sadly I was right.
The mother of the children reported the incident to CPS because she felt “alarmed” at the exposure . I have to wonder if this, like so many other incidents where CPS is called, was simply a tit-for-tat in some other dispute involving the step parents.
Attorneys for the Defendant argued that disparate treatment between men and women regarding exposed nipples as being criminal nudity unconstitutionally disparages women but not men. The husband was not charged after this incident. The defense cited a recent Colorado Supreme Court case overturning a topless ban statute. The Tenth Circuit also blocked a Fort Collins city code banning women from being topless in public.
The prosecution states that criminal nudity is understood in American Society to include women’s breasts and that courts have upheld such statutes based on morality.
For me I do not see a compelling state interest in regulating how people should dress themselves within the confines of their own homes. Moreover should we allow government to dictate fine lines as to nudity being criminal or not? It seems that in this jurisdiction in Utah, a woman cannot be nude in her own home before a child of nine years of age but can breastfeed a neonate. How about we reverse the role and arrest a nine-year-old girl for exposing her chest area to her step mother when she asks about a strange skin mole that formed after a sunburn? If this woman suffers a conviction it would truly show that a person cannot avoid being a victim of government overreach and arbitrary prosecution. Just “being” is sufficient to go to jail.
There are places in Europe where topless nudity is commonplace among all ages present, whether it be hot springs or public spas. Somehow debauchery and criminality did not debase the community there. But, we must prosecute a woman for being nude in her own home. Utah’s government must be proud for vindicating the children’s birth mother who was so “alarmed”.
Reportedly, the judge (Kara Pettit) who heard the case last Tuesday, stated she would rule in the coming months as it was “too important of a case” to make an immediate ruling. I beg to differ. Rather than put this defendant through a several month long wait worrying of the jeopardy she faces, look instead at the complete baselessness of the charges and issue a summary dismissal for lack of probable cause–with prejudice of course–and put this ridiculous matter to rest.
By Darren Smith
Source: CBS News
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