A stepmother is one step closer to jail and the sex offender registry after she let her step kids see her go topless in her own garage.
Judge Kara Petit denied Tilli Buchana’s motion that Utah state law is unconstitutional because it targets women by making it illegal for them to show their breasts on Tuesday.
Buchanan, 27, was charged with three counts of lewdness involving children after her stepchildren saw her topless. The incident happened when she and her husband stripped down to their underwear while installing drywall in their garage.
When Buchanan’s stepchildren saw her and asked why she was topless, she reportedly said if their father could show his chest, then so could she.
However, Judge Petit did not agree with Buchanan’s reasoning this week and ruled that prosecutors’ argument that only exposed female breast, not male, can be considered lewd under state law, which ‘reflects contemporary community standards as to what constitutes nudity.’
Judge Petit rejected Buchanan’s lawyers’ argument that the law, which forbids exposure of ‘the female breast below the top of the areola,’ is unconstitutional.
‘The Court finds the government has an important interest in enacting laws to protect the health, safety, welfare, and morality of children, and to prevent them from being exposed to lewdness,’ Petit wrote, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Buchanan’s lawyers said they plan to appeal the decision.
‘If a man can go topless and it is accepted in society, that same privilege should be given to a woman,’ said Randall Richards, one of Buchanan’s lawyers.
‘Now that the court has ruled on the overall constitutionality of Utah’s lewdness law, we are prepared to move forward to the litigation portion of our specific case.’
If convicted on all charges, Buchanan faces up to one year in jail and ten years on the sex offender registry.