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Middlesex nudity law proposal tabled

by Tom Chillemi

A proposed county law making nudity illegal was tabled after the Middlesex Board of Supervisors (BOS) determined there were questions about the language.

State law addresses “indecent exposure” but not simple nudity. Indecent exposure is defined as an action made by anyone who “intentionally makes an obscene display or exposure of his person,” Middlesex Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Hurd told the BOS. 

Some indecent exposure cases in Virginia have been overturned on appeal. That statute applies only if the exposure is “obscene,” that is, “it appeals to the prurient interest in sex,” Hurd explained.

Hurd said there have been nudity incidents where Middlesex deputies are not able to make an arrest because “mere nudity” does not always meet the legal definition of “obscene.”

At least 30 jurisdictions in Virginia have nudity laws, said Hurd.

Hurd said there was an incident at an Urbanna Oyster Festival where a man took off his clothes in a public area and went into a pool where children were sailing toy boats. Hurd said he recently learned there was another nudity incident at the most recent Oyster Festival.
Another incident occurred when someone walked along Route 33 naked in front of St. Clare Walker Middle School.

Hurd said he was concerned that someone could stand naked in front of a school and there would be no law to stop him or her.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 12.06.2017

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