Utah Woman Charged With Lewdness After Stepkids Saw Her Topless In Her Home
By Bill Galluccio
November 20, 2019
A Utah woman is facing charges of lewdness because she was topless inside of her own home. Tilli Buchanan was hanging drywall with her husband when she decided to take off her shirt and bra so they wouldn't get dirty. Her husband also took off his shirt.
While they were working in the garage, her three stepkids, ages 9, 10, and 13, walked in and asked why she was topless.
“Tilli explained that she considers herself a feminist and she wanted to make a point that everybody should be fine with walking around their house or elsewhere with skin showing,” her attorneys wrote in court filings.
It is unclear who alerted the police to the fact that Buchanan was topless in her own home. She is now facing three charges of lewdness in front of a child and would be required to register as a sex offender is she is convicted. Buchanan is fighting the charges and doesn't just want them dropped, she wants the lewdness law struck down as unconstitutional. She pointed out the fact that while she was cited, her husband, who was also topless, was not charged.
"There’s part of it that says this part of a woman is found inherently obscene and this part of a man isn’t," ACLU staff attorney Leah Farrell told reporters. "That really sets up an unequal and unfair dichotomy. And Tilli’s case is something none of us would expect to happen."
Utah officials have defended the law and said the legislature has the right to makes laws based on morality.
"We see our job is to represent the laws of the state of Utah, and we’ve made our argument that’s now on the record," chief West Valley City prosecutor Ryan Robinson told reporters. "We’re looking forward to seeing what the judge decides."
After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Kara Pettit decided not to make a ruling from the bench. She said that she will review the case and will have a decision in the next few months.