LOGAN — A woman who was arrested for sunbathing topless at Hyrum Reservoir has had her criminal case dropped, after a recent federal appeals court ruling struck down a city ordinance banning women from being topless in public.
The 28-year-old River Heights woman appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday morning. She had previously been charged with one count of lewdness, a class B misdemeanor.
Court records show, in August the woman was arrested near Hyrum Dam, by a park ranger with the Division of Parks and Recreation. She was issued a citation and later arraigned on the misdemeanor charge, after the Cache County Attorney’s Office screened the case.
In September, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a topless ban in Fort Collins, Colorado, after a district court judge ruled it unconstitutional, since it only applied to women, violating the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Utah is one of six states that fall under the jurisdiction of the 10th Circuit Court, which also includes Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
The 10th Circuit ruling effectively means that topless bans in those six states may no longer be enforceable, but ordinances will still need to be challenged individually in order to be removed from the books in a given municipality.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Cache County Deputy Attorney Barbara Lachmar told the court they were dropping the lewdness charge. She explained that the recent 10th Circuit ruling made it difficult to pursue the case. She asked for the criminal charge be dismissed without prejudice though, meaning that prosecutors could re-file it in the future.
The woman did not speak during Tuesday’s hearing.