Judge deals blow to woman charged for being topless at home

Judge Kara Pettit sided with prosecutors who argued that lewdness is commonly understood to include women’s breasts in American society. (Source: AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP/KSL/CNN) - A judge has refused to overturn part of Utah’s lewdness law in a criminal case against a woman who was topless at home in front of her three stepchildren.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Judge Kara Pettit sided Tuesday with prosecutors who argued that lewdness is commonly understood to include women’s breasts in American society.

Tili Buchanan is charged with three counts of lewdness in front of a child.

The incident happened more than a year ago in Salt Lake City.

Buchanan says she and her husband were hanging drywall in their garage when they took off their shirts to keep their clothes from getting dusty. Buchanan also removed her bra.

Her three stepchildren asked why she wasn’t wearing a shirt, and she told the children that everyone should be fine walking around their own home with their skin showing.

"It was in the privacy of my own home. My husband was right next to me in the exact same manner, so I’m being prosecuted for it,” Buchanan said.

The judge rejected arguments that the law is unconstitutional because it treats men and women differently.

The decision comes as a movement advocating for the rights of women to go topless has seen mixed results fighting similar rules nationwide.

While a Colorado law was overturned, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld topless convictions in New Hampshire.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. KSL via CNN also contributed to this story.