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Woman cited for being topless in Loveland wins $50,000 settlement, indecent exposure case dropped

A woman who was cited for indecent exposure by a Loveland police officer will receive a $50,000 settlement after the charge was dropped by the city.

Twenty-year-old Effie Krokos was playing Frisbee with her fiancé in her front yard on a warm September day when she decided to take off her shirt. Someone called police to complain, an officer showed up and wrote a summons.

“I knew my rights, I told the officer I knew my rights — this is a topless state,” Krokos said. “It was a hot day, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.”

After receiving the citation Krokos filed a formal complaint with the city. She also found an attorney.

“In February, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case called ‘Free the Nipple vs. the City of Ft. Collins,’ ” said civil rights attorney David Lane, who represents Krokos. “The Court essentially held that, based upon the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, anywhere it’s legal for a man to appear in public topless, it’s legal for a woman to do the same.”

Krokos said the officer who wrote the citation told her that going topless was only allowed in Fort Collins. “I knew that wasn’t right,” she said.

The settlement “will forestall lengthy and expensive litigation,” Loveland said in a news release.

“Although the officer issued the summons following proper protocols and in accordance with our local law, the City, upon the advice of its insurance carrier, the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency, extended the settlement,” the release said.

Lane proposed a settlement with the city on Oct. 24, claiming Krokos constitutional rights under the Fourth and 14th amendments had been violated. The case against Krokos will be dismissed without prejudice and it will be sealed.

In light of the court ruling and settlement, Loveland has suspended enforcement of its provision against women exposing their breasts “in or near any public place or in any place open to public view.”

Krokos, a Front Range Community College student who plans to attend the University of Northern Colorado and become a teacher, is elated by the developments.

“I was exercising my right of equality,” Krokos said. “If you want me to be equal, I have to be able to do everything a man can do. Any woman who does this, she now knows she’s safe. It’s not right for a woman to feel unsafe in her own state.”

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Source:: The Denver Post

      

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