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Loophole Allows Nudity on Sacramento Streets And Sidewalks

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A person can walk down the streets of Sacramento in the nude without any legal problems under a loophole in the city's public nudity law.

The culprit is section 9.04.060 of the Sacramento city code. It outlaws nudity in public parks, playgrounds and beaches, but it leaves out streets and sidewalks.

Under that law, a nude person would be violating the law if they were in Cesar Chavez Park, but technically they wouldn't be if they stepped onto the sidewalk.

"I just don't wanna see butts everywhere," said Sacramento resident Jazmin Velazquez. "I dunno if that's what I wanna see."

Sacramento wants to close the loophole, rewriting what it calls in outdated ordinance. A staff report says several people were arrested last year with everything exposed in public, but the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office couldn't prosecute them under Sacramento's current law.

The report explains California's indecent exposure law didn't apply either, because even though they were naked, they didn't have lewd intent or engage in sexually gratifying behavior.

The city says the new law will take the technicalities out of prosecuting public nudity.

"If you're able to be viewed in public and you're doing something lewd, your genitals are exposed or you're in fact fully nude, that's not OK," said director of government affairs Randi Knott. "We wanna protect the children; we wanna protect the public."

There are exceptions to the amended ordinance, including for children under 10, breastfeeding moms and artistic performances. The city says it isn't trying to take people's rights away, but it wants to protect the public from seeing a little too much.

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