Criminal case dropped against topless sunbather at Hyrum Dam

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.

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  • Anne October 17, 2019 at 8:14 am Reply

    Such bad writing. Was she arrested or given a citation? They are not the same thing. Also…. was this a first time lewdness charge? Why is it implied this isn’t the first time then later contradicts itself? Horrible writing. Biased. Nice try lololol

  • Joe Ivan October 17, 2019 at 9:35 pm Reply

    Please put on your website that Cache Valley is in the State of Utah and in the United States. Someone following a link to it wouldn’t know.

  • Human October 19, 2019 at 1:36 am Reply

    Bad writing? How is this bad writing? You are making assumptions and implying all sorts of things that have no merit. In case you were wondering, you can be arrested and given a citation at the same time. Perhaps you need to use a dictionary to look up the meaning of both of these words before you start professing your grandeur. Plus, who are you to judge writing, are you a writer for a news agency, a magazine perhaps, or even a personal blog??? Really, I’m just wondering about your ability to write and think. Claiming that someones writing is bad while writing badly shows that you are the one who is biased.
    Joe I,
    Being ignorant an complaining about your inability to do a tiny bit of research just to belittle a, free, small town newspaper doesn’t give you any credibility or room to talk. If you click on the “About Us” link, you will find everything you are claiming doesn’t exist.

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