A woman in Utah is facing misdemeanor lewdness charges for being topless in her own home. That's mostly because her grandchildren walked in on her in the compromising situation.
Her 3 grandkids, aged 9, 10, and 13, saw her bare chest. Under normal circumstances, that's not expected to happen.
And for her indiscretion, the woman is facing the charges, which her lawyers argue are unconstitutional.
Her attorneys went as far as asking the judge to drop the charges and change the state law finding her guilty of lewdness in her own home.
Tili Buchanan actually had a good reason for walking around her house without all her clothes. She and her husband were installing drywall in their garage.
That turned out to be an itchy affair due to the fibers, and the top had to go.
However, her argument regarding her grandkids walking in on her suggests that there was more to her being topless than just itchy drywall fibers.
She explained that she considers herself a feminist and feels that we should all have the freedom to walk around our houses with skin showing.
But the state is hearing none of it.
She is facing lewdness charges involving a child, a Class A misdemeanor.
Ironically, her husband was dressed in the same manner, but he faced no charges.
According to the state lewdness law, it's a criminal offense to expose "the female breast below the top of the areola" in a private place with a child present when the circumstances would cause an affront or alarm.
So, this is a pretty serious offense as far as the state goes.
She Might Register As A Sex Offender For 10 Years
In case Buchanan gets convicted for her offense, she might do some jail time, pay fines, and even register as a sex offender. For 10 years!
Buchanan was not amused with the charges leveled against her:
"It was in the privacy of my own home. My husband was right next to me in the same exact manner that I was, and he's not being prosecuted."
The charges began after the children's mother informed the authorities of her concerns after the incident. Apparently, she was "alarmed."
Some Legal Concerns
According to Leah Farrell, a lawyer, this case raises a number of constitutional issues.
For starters, it criminalizes behavior that many people think is normal. Then there is the gender issue:
"Simply because Miss Buchanan is a woman, she is facing this charge… the state's reach to criminalize morality based on gender and gender stereotyping is incredibly problematic."
The fact that she was found guilty despite being topless in her own home is also an issue.
In general, such cases help fuel the "free the nipple" movement.
But it's not just the courts that seem to have an issue with women exposing their nipples. Both Facebook and Instagram have a problem with images of "uncovered female nipples."
The only time exposing the female nipple is allowed on these social media platforms is breastfeeding, giving birth, or showing conditions like a mastectomy.
The policy caused more than 100 people to lay naked in front of Facebook's New York offices. They were holding images of female nipples in protest.