Woman charged after her kids saw her topless in her own home

A Utah woman is fighting a case that could force her to register as a sex offender because her stepchildren saw her topless in her own home.

In late 2017 or early 2018, Tilli Buchanan said she and her husband took off their shirts to keep their clothes from getting dusty while they worked in their garage.

Buchanan's stepchildren, who are between 9 and 13 years old, walked in on the couple while they were topless. At the time she "explained she considers herself a feminist and wanted to make a point that everybody should be fine with walking around their house or elsewhere with skin showing," according to the Associated Press.

The Utah woman was charged with three counts of misdemeanor lewdness involving a child in February after the children's biological mother reported the incident to authorities because she was "alarmed," AP reported. Child welfare officials were also undergoing a separate investigation involving the kids, which was not tied to Buchanan.

If convicted, Buchanan could be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years, according to AP.

Buchanan's attorneys argue Utah's lewdness law is unconstitutional because it treats men and women differently for the same conduct of baring their chests.

When Buchanan was seen topless by the kids, her husband was baring his chest as well.

Buchanan told KSL she hopes the law will be struck down, "especially given it was in the privacy of my own home. My husband was right next to me in the same exact manner that I was, and he's not being prosecuted."

Prosecutors argue that nudity is commonly understood to include women's breasts in American society and that courts have upheld laws based on morality.

Judge Kara Pettit heard Buchanan's case Tuesday in Salt Lake City, but said it is "too important of an issue" for an immediate ruling. She will hand down a decision within two months, AP reported.

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