Mom charged with sex crime for cleaning topless in front of her children
As you probably know by now, there is currently a rise in the 'Free the Nipple' social movement, which calls for women to be allowed to appear topless in public and on social media without punishment - the same as men.
Now, one case from Salt Lake City, Utah, has highlighted the unjust treatment of topless women, after a mom was charged with a sex offense for cleaning her home around her step-children with her breasts exposed.
While cleaning their own garage, 28-year-old Tilli Buchanan and her husband removed their shirts to stop them from getting dirty. While her breasts were exposed, her three step-children - two boys and a girl, aged 9, 10, and 13 at the time - walked past the parents and saw Buchanan topless.
Tilli Buchanan speaks out in the video below:
Per the Salt Lake Tribune, the stepmom said she attempted to use the situation as a "teaching moment," and told the children they shouldn't feel uncomfortable seeing her chest, for the same reason their dad's exposed chest didn't bother them.
She told a court on Tuesday: "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."
Buchanan’s lawyers have stated: "[Buchanan] considers herself a feminist and wanted to make a point that everybody should be fine with walking around their house or elsewhere with skin showing."
Defense attorney Randy Richards told the Tribune that his client could end up behind bars and also be forced to appear on the sex offender registry for 10 years if she's convicted on three misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct.
Buchanan's attorneys say the laws are unjust:
Buchanan, who was charged in February, told the Tribune in September that she and her husband stripped off down to their underwear after installing some insulation in their garage and prepared to jump in the shower.
However, prosecutors are claiming that Buchanan was "under the influence of alcohol" and willingly took her shirt off in front of them after saying if her husband could be topless, so could she. They're also claiming Buchanan said she'd only put her shirt back on if her husband showed her his genitals.
Buchanan's defense is citing a Colorado case in which a judge blocked a city ordinance banning women from publicly baring their breasts. Prosecutors have counter-argued it is commonly understood that women’s breasts are included in nudity laws and that morality must be upheld.
The stepmother is outraged that she has been charged with the crime while her husband, who also had his shirt off, was not.
Buchanan was charged with three counts of misdemeanor lewdness in January after a child welfare investigation was launched into her offspring that was not tied to her. Buchanan volunteered the information to officials because she was ‘alarmed’ by the proceedings, and was later arrested. The mother’s lawyers are seeking the charges overturned because they are sexist and unfair.
Presiding Judge Kara Pettit has said she will issue a ruling in the coming months as the case is "too important an issue" to decide in a hurry.