Share |

9th Circuit Rules Indecent Exposure / Nudity Not a Crime of “Moral Turpitude”

In a landmark decision a panel of the US Court of Appeals ruled this week that a past conviction for indecent exposure in California did not automatically bar a Mexican immigrant from seeking to remain in the country on the grounds that his deportation would cause undue hardship for his wife and children, who are U.S. citizens.

Writing for the panel in the case of Nunez v. Holder, Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt explained that having two or more crimes of moral turpitude on one’s record within a ten year period would trigger an automatic denial of the request under immigration law (Nunez also had a conviction for a shoplifting incident.)  However, Judge Reinhardt added that the issue of whether an indecent exposure charge was sufficiently severe less clear:

“We start by recognizing one point that does not appear to be in dispute. Exposing oneself in a public place is not necessarily lewd, or base, vile and depraved as traditionally required by our traditional definition of moral turpitude.  For example, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the California courts appear to agree, a sunbather who removes all his clothes to tan on an unoccupied public beach and wakes to find himself surrounded by offended beachgoers has done nothing either lewd or depraved and thus is neither in violation… nor guilty of a morally turpitudinous act.”

Consistent with its role as advocate for nudity, AANR follows developments such as the Nunez case closely.  Moreover, because we believe that enjoyment of one’s own nudity within appropriate settings is a basic and fundamental right, AANR occasionally become involved in such cases.  (We once provided expert testimony in an asylum case before the immigration courts when the petitioner convincingly argued that he would face serious persecution in his home country where he had become a leading nudist figure for which he was beaten and threatened with worse.)

Thank you for providing a credible voice for nudity to those who wouldn’t have a voice without you.

This entry was posted in News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *