open lewdness

At common law, acts of lewdness committed in public. Under statute, any lewdness not in secret, whether it be in the presence of one or several persons. 33 Am J1st Lewd etc. § 2. The phrase "open and gross lewdness" is not equivalent to the phrase "gross lewdness in an open place." The word "open" has no reference to place at all, nor to number of people. It is used simply to define a quality of the act of lewdness. It is open lewdness as opposed to secret lewdness. It defines the same act, regardless whether it is committed in the presence of one or of many. The offense may be committed by the intentional act of exposing one's person indecently in the presence of one person, to whom it is offensive, as well as in the presence of many persons. It could not change the quality of the act that it was committed in the presence of a child of tender years,–too innocent to be offended by it. State v Juneau, 88 Wis 180, 59 NW 580. See gross lewdness.

Ballentine's law dictionary. . 1998.

Look at other dictionaries:

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