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Neb. Woman Ticketed for Being Nude on Net

December 30, 2003

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ It may be legal to appear naked in cyberspace, but police ticketed a Lincoln woman for posting nude pictures of herself on the Web that were taken in a downtown bar.

Melissa J. Harrington, 21, was ticketed Monday for violating Lincoln’s public nudity ordinance by posting pictures on her Web site ``showing her naked at one of our downtown bars and in several other locations around the city,″ Police Chief Tom Casady said.

``It’s unlawful to be naked in public in Lincoln,″ he said.

Harrington, who works as a Web designer at a local Bank, says on her Web site that she likes ``being naked in public ... even more when there’s a lot of people there to watch.″

``They’re not going to stop me from doing what I’m doing. I enjoy what I do and they really don’t have any grounds″ to prosecute the case, she said.

Her Web site is linked to another showing explicit pictures of women who purportedly are college students in Nebraska.

Casady said no one has been ticketed in connection with those pictures because it is not apparent where they were taken.

``Some of them are clearly stock photos that someone has gotten from some place else,″ he said. ``Some of them, you just can’t tell where they are.″

In Harrington’s case, Casady said it is obvious that the photos were taken inside the Marz Intergalactic Shrimp and Martini Bar.

The owner of the bar, Jerry Luth, told Omaha television station KETV he is extremely upset by the pictures and did not give Harrington permission to shoot the pictures at the bar.

``I’m the one who called police to complain about the nude pictures,″ said Luth.

Casady said the police department planned to send a letter to the state Liquor Control Commission to see if the bar violated any state laws.

Harrington was to be arraigned in Lancaster County Court on Jan 29. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $500 fine.

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