Tuesday, September 08, 2009

More on Cassidy Nicosia's Topfree Protest

Phillip Bantz of The Keene Sentinel has more details on Cassidy Nicosia and why police prosecutors dropped the indecent exposure and lewdness charges for her topfree protest on August 23.
Last week, police prosecutors D. Chris McLaughlin and Eliezer Rivera decided to drop the charge of indecent exposure and lewdness against Nicosia. The charge was dropped because walking down the street topless does not qualify as a crime under state law, Keene police Lt. Jay U. Duguay said.The law states that a person commits indecent exposure and lewdness if he or she fornicates, exposes genitals or performs any other “act of gross lewdness … likely to cause affront or alarm” in public.“She wasn’t fornicating or exposing genitals — breasts aren’t genitals,” Duguay said. “No one who complained about it said that it was gross lewdness.”While towns and cities may enact ordinances that prohibit women from going topless in public, Keene has no such ordinance, Duguay said.
One of the more interesting aspects of this case is that one of the reasons the charges were dropped has to do with the prosecutors' fears that should the issue have been presented to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, it was a good possibility that the language in the statute could be ruled as being "too broad", and therefore the judges could throw it out completely.

A topfree demonstration in support of Nicosia was scheduled on Wednesday, and it's not clear if that event will proceed. At any rate, even though no court decision come down on this case, it appears that Cassidy's protest has revealed that women's topfreedom is legal in Keene, New Hampshire.

1 comment:

Jim P said...

This is just another example of our law enforcement people not knowing the laws they are paid to enforce. I feel that the officers could have been doing better elsewhere like stopping drunk drivers or other pursuits.