Public nudity laws in LA revealed: When is being naked a crime?

Last week a naked man who climbed a communications tower in Downtown was released to a hospital instead of being arrested. This raises the question: Is it OK to walk the streets naked?

The answer: Kind of, but not really.

LAPD Officer Karen Rayner said the naked man would have been more likely to be charged with trespassing than public nudity. It’s not common for a person to be naked on the streets, Rayner said, but if they are they can still be brought into custody.

“It’s not the crime of the century,” Rayner added.

The consequences only become really serious when there’s a sexual reason for being nude.

“Nude alone is not lewd. In order to be lewd conduct (PC Section 647a) there must be some indication of sexual motivation,” L.A. City Attorney’s Office spokesman Frank Mateljan said in an e-mail.

Read more: Public nudity laws in LA revealed: When is being naked a crime? :: blogdowntown

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