Mom fighting lewdness charges after stepkids see her topless at home

A Utah woman whose stepchildren saw her topless in her own home is fighting charges related to the incident, arguing the state’s “unfair” toplessness ban would force her to register as a sex offender if she’s found guilty.

Tilli Buchanan was charged with lewdness in connection with the incident, which occurred while she was working in her garage alongside her husband approximately two years ago. She and her husband had both removed their shirts to avoid getting dusty when her stepchildren, who ranged from nine to 13 years old, walked in and saw her.

LISTEN: From The Shift with Drex

“It was in the privacy of my own home,” Buchanan told reporters after a court hearing in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. “My husband was right next to me in the same exact manner that I was, and he’s not being prosecuted.”


READ MORE:
Women who flashed breasts at World Series banned for topless ‘promotion’

Court documents filed by her lawyers say she told the kids she was a “feminist.” Buchanan also told the children that she “wanted to make a point that everybody should be fine with walking around their house or elsewhere with skin showing.”

Authorities were alerted to the incident by the children’s mother, who reported it to child welfare officials amid a separate investigation that didn’t involve Buchanan.

Buchanan was charged in February with three counts of misdemeanour lewdness involving a child. If convicted, Buchanan could be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Judge Kara Pettit heard the case on Tuesday but declined to offer an immediate ruling, saying it was “too important of an issue” and that she needed time to consider it. A ruling is expected in the coming months.


READ MORE:
Performers go topless at Toronto Caribbean Carnival to promote body positivity

Prosecutors argued that a woman’s breasts are commonly understood as nudity in American society and that the court should uphold laws based on morality.

The prosecution alleges Buchanan stripped down in front of the kids after making her statement about feminism and equality, according to court documents reviewed by the Salt Lake Tribune.

Buchanan’s lawyers urged the judge to overturn her charges and declare that part of the law unconstitutional. Her attorneys cited a case from February 2017, when a federal judge blocked the city of Fort Collins, Colo., from enforcing a law against women going topless. The judge argued the law was based on gender discrimination.

Fort Collins removed its topless ban on Sept. 17 following a lawsuit inspired by the Free the Nipple activism campaign.

Buchanan told the Salt Lake Tribune she’s not out to fight for the Free the Nipple campaign. She was simply trying to teach her stepchildren a lesson.

“The moment I took to teach the kids, it was kind of smashed,” she told the paper. “Like, you can’t teach kids this. In fact, you’re going to be charged for even bringing it up.”

With files from the Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

You May Also Like

Top Stories