SALT LAKE CITY (CBS Local) — A Utah woman who is facing charges for being topless in her own home in front of her stepchildren has lost her bid to have her case dismissed.
A judge refused to overturn part of Utah’s lewdness law Tuesday, siding with prosecutors who argued that lewdness is commonly understood to include women’s breasts.
“It is the prerogative of the Legislature to establish laws incorporating contemporary community standards regarding lewdness,” Third District Judge Kara Pettit wrote. “It is not for the court to decide whether the Legislature’s enumeration of lewd conduct is wise or sound policy.”
Tilli Buchanan, 28, had argued the lewdness statute is unconstitutional because it targets and discriminates against women making it illegal for them to show their breasts.
CHALLENGE REJECTED: If the case goes to trial, the woman could face jail time and be forced to register as a sex offender for 10 years.https://t.co/OvURk11Vl9
— KUTV 2News (@KUTV2News) January 22, 2020
Buchanan was charged after she and her husband took off their shirts to keep their clothes from getting dirty while installing insulation in their garage in late 2017 or early 2018.
Shortly after taking her top off, Buchanan’s three stepchildren, two boys, 9 and 13, and a 10-year-old girl, ran downstairs and into the garage and saw her topless. Her husband was not charged.
“This isn’t a sexual thing,” she recalled telling the children, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. “I should be able to wear exactly what my husband wears. You shouldn’t be embarrassed about this.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Buchanan would appeal Tuesday’s ruling. If she does not, her misdemeanor charges would move toward trial.
If convicted, she could face jail time and be forced to register as a sex offender for 10 years.