Criminal Justice

Woman Charged with Taking Off Her Clothes in Public Demonstrates Her Technique in Court


A photographer who takes off her clothes in public to challenge the stigma against public nudity took her protest to court on Wednesday.

Charged with stripping naked at Grand Central Terminal, Holly Van Voast showed up in New York’s Midtown Community Court wearing a black coat, the New York Times reports. In the courtroom, she removed the wrap, revealing she had nothing on from the waist up.

Van Voast’s 89-year-old court-appointed lawyer, Franklin Schwartz, did not support the display. He told the Times he had never seen anything quite like this in his 62 years of practicing law.

Van Voast was able to avoid a contempt finding, the story says. Judge Rita Mella tabled the case until the afternoon, and told the defendant she would not be punished if she apologized. At that time, Van Voast reluctantly admitted her behavior was “out of line,” a statement that Mella took as an apology.

The case against Van Voast for stripping in Grand Central Terminal will be dismissed if she stays out of trouble for six months.

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