As reported in the Advocate, a man and woman were recently charged with committing an indecent act (CCC, V-173) for being nude in public.
The pair was seen moving through the public areas near the Dawe Centre, Red Deer, but to be “indecent” under the law requires an act that is of a sexual nature.
The report makes no mention of any sexual activity and the courts have already declared that simple nudity does not meet that definition. They could be charged with Nudity (CCC, V-174) but this requires the consent of the attorney general to prosecute.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, non-sexual nudity is not considered indecent so the wrong charge was applied, successfully in this case.
To get the other charges dropped, Shawn William Chenette had already pleaded guilty to committing an indecent act and placed on one-year probation.
If you plead guilty, it doesn’t matter if the charge is applicable or not.
However, if the attorney general had agreed to lay the correct charge, and they got off, it would set a legal precedent that might see Red Deer, Alberta, become the next Brattleboro, Vermont, with naked teens and topless girls sunbathing in the parks.
No knives, no guns, no drugs, just nudity.
Now, wouldn’t that be interesting?