Culture/Legal/Society

Utah woman charged with ‘lewdness’ after stepchildren saw her topless at home

AP Photo via Salt Lake Tribune.

A Utah woman is facing charges of “lewdness” and the possibility of having to register as a sex offender after her young stepchildren accidentally saw her topless at home.

Tilli Buchanan, 27, was charged with lewdness after her stepchildren walked in on her with her shirt off after she and her husband removed their clothes after installing insulation in the garage, local reports noted.

“This isn’t a sexual thing,” Buchanan reportedly the children at the time, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. “I should be able to wear exactly what my husband wears. You shouldn’t be embarrassed about this.”

But state authorities nevertheless decided to charge her with three counts of lewdness involving a child, a class A misdemeanor. Her husband, meanwhile, has not been charged with any crime.

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

Buchanan’s attorney, Randy Richards, has file a motion asking a judge to find the lewdness law unconstitutional because of a 10th Circuit Court ruling on a case that involved two Colorado women who sued the city of Fort Collins for violating their right to equal protection under the law.

“Because Tilli Buchanan is a woman — and only because she is a woman — the state now seeks to condemn her as a child sex offender for engaging in the exact same non-sexual conduct as her lawfully faultless husband,” Richards wrote.

“Tilli Buchanan is being singled out for prosecution solely on the basis of sex.”

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