Utah woman who took off her top in front of her stepchildren while drunk says she was trying to 'teach them about sexism'
The lawyer for Tilli Buchanan, 27, argued that if it wasn't considered inappropriate for a man to be topless, the same should apply for women
WEST VALLEY CITY, UTAH: A Utah mom is facing multiple charges after she took off her top in front of her three stepchildren at their home while drunk and refused to put it back on until her husband exposed his penis.
Tilli Buchanan, 27, and her husband Jared had been installing insulation in their garage at their West Valley City home and stripped down to their underwear to rinse the itchy material off their body when his children, two boys aged 13 and nine, and a 10-year-old girl, appeared "embarrassed," according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Buchanan said she tried to tell them there was nothing to be embarrassed about, and that there was no difference between her and Jared being topless, but police said they heard a different side to the story.
The authorities alleged that she was drunk at the time and stripped down to prove a point and that she said she would only put her shirt back on if Jared exposed his penis. They have charged her with three counts of lewdness involving a child in connection to the incident, which is said to have taken place between November 2017 and January 2018.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the children were the focus of another investigation when the incident came to light and that it was their biological mother who told authorities about it after she became "alarmed" about Buchanan when they informed her.
Buchanan, while not denying the charges, is arguing that they are constitutionally unfair as her husband who was also topless has not faced any reprimand. She argued that she was trying to teach the children a lesson on sexism.
"I was devastated. Because the moment I took to teach the kids, it was kind of smashed. Like you can’t teach kids this," she said. "In fact, you’re going to be charged for even bringing this up."
Her lawyer, Randy Richards, similarly said if it wasn't considered inappropriate for a man to be topless, the same should apply for women. "Because Tilli Buchanan is a woman — and only because she is a woman — the state now seeks to condemn her as a child sex offender for engaging in the exact same non-sexual conduct as her lawfully faultless husband," he said. "Tilli Buchanan is being singled out for prosecution solely on the basis of sex."
In response, prosecutors said that if they didn't distinguish between male and female chests, it would not be illegal for someone to grope women or young girls' breasts.
The case is due back in court in November. If convicted Buchanan could face jail time and stay on the sex offender registry for 10 years.