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Utah Solicitation Law Makes 'Acting Sexy' Illegal

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 26, 2011 6:46 AM

Recent changes enacted by a new Utah solicitation law appear to have made "acting sexy" illegal, according to a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of two Salt Lake City escort services.

Putting aside the miracle that Utah is actually home to escort services (and strip clubs!), the law criminalizes the performance of lewd acts to indicate that a person wishes to exchange sex for money.

In other words, the changes made to Utah solicitation law make it illegal for a person to expose or touch herself--or "act sexy"--as a means to convey that she is a prostitute.

How will officers know whether a self-groper is a drunk co-ed, a stripper, or a prostitute?

They won't, which is why the new law is being challenged as overbroad and an infringement on the First Amendment rights of escorts and exotic dancers everywhere.

Yes, oddly enough, making "acting sexy" illegal is quite possibly illegal.

In Erie v. Pap's A.M., the Supreme Court noted that, though banning public nudity is legal, nude dancing is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment.

The Utah solicitation law can ban exposure, but if a person's clothes are on, or if they're stripping, "lewd acts" may actually be free speech.

On a lighter note, the rationale behind this statute is quite priceless.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank told the Associated Press that the law was enacted to protect undercover agents assigned to prostitution rings.

Apparently, in order to verify that a person is not an undercover officer, local prostitutes have been requesting that unknown persons "prove" their authenticity by exposing or touching themselves.

By making "acting sexy" illegal under the new Utah solicitation law, legislators are hoping that prostitutes won't ask agents to engage in such behavior.

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