Thursday, August 11, 2005

No, She's Not a Naturist; Just a Nuisance

Wrong place, wrong time, wrong move, lady...

Woman arrested for topless sunbathing
Thad Kelling - The Montana Standard
August 6, 2005

BUTTE, MONTANA - Topless sunbathers beware: Butte authorities sent a message Thursday by arresting a woman for disorderly conduct after she allegedly bared her chest at a public park.

"Under these particular circumstances, we found it to be offensive," said Samm Cox, the deputy county attorney handling the case.
The incident stems from a call to Butte dispatchers around 4:40 p.m. reporting that there was a woman in Chester Steele Park, near St. James Hospital, wearing nothing but a G-string.
Police found the woman laying topless, police reports said. She was with other clothed adults.
At the time, a group from the hospital was having a picnic, and many kids were playing under the water umbrella staffed by county employees, reports said.

The woman was laying on her back when police arrived, reports said, but it is unclear how much of her body was revealed.
When questioned, the woman said she wasn't doing anything wrong and noted that she was in a concealed location, reports said.
Despite her protests, police arrested Diane Marie Hallman, 32, of 910 Evans. She pleaded innocent to disorderly conduct charges in Butte city court Friday.
Hallman was charged with disorderly conduct because her actions were offensive and served no legitimate purpose, Cox said. The same standard is used to charge people who urinate in public, he noted.
"Obviously, somebody thought it was disturbing their peace to call police," he said.
The circumstances influenced prosecutors' decision to charge her criminally. If she was only among adults or in a private place, Hallman may not have been charged, Cox said.
"This isn't comparable to a mother breast-feeding in public," he said.
Bob Rowling, the Butte parks and recreation director, could not comment on the arrest, because he was not at the park at the time of the incident. But he issued a statement for others considering sunbathing topless in the parks.
"We are not going to tolerate any form of nudity or anything like that in the public parks," he said.
A phone message left at Hallman's residence Friday morning was not returned and her defense attorney was not available.
If convicted, Hallman faces a maximum sentence of 10 days in jail and a $170 fine.



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