Women topless in public? Legal experts weigh in

Posted at 8:58 PM, Sep 08, 2015

It's a topic that has sparked a lot of conversation since we first brought you this story yesterday. Topless women are causing a lot of stir at Woodlawn Beach this summer.

Parents at the beach say they were outraged when they saw topless women who they say were running, jumping and causing a scene. Woodlawn Beach says the women were kicked out for their unruly behavior.

RELATED | 7 Eyewitness News spoke to one of the women. Hear why she was on the beach topless in this interview

So what is the law here? Local defense attorney Paul Cambria says it's not illegal for women to go topless anywhere that's public. 

"Technically, women can walk down Main Street without a top," said Cambria. "If people were touching each other, flaunting themselves, then that could be interpreted as lewd."

Cambria says it's not a crime for women to be topless in public, but indecent exposure is.

Defense attorneys say indecent exposure is when a person is fully nude in public. Woodlawn Beach says people have tried to push the envelope this summer by coming to the beach with body-painted bathing suits.

"Women came with full body paint. It was hard to tell," said Ray Pawlowski, the manager of Woodlawn Beach. "Some had bottoms, some did not. That's where the line is. You can't be totally nude."

The women say they were going topless at the beach to "exercise their rights for gender equality."

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