Every major city – including Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Chicago – have a large gay presence wherein some men seek out hidden and public places to engage in sexual relations. In Chicago, some such cruising areas have become old Marshall Field & Co, the Palmer House Hotel, the Lawson YMCA—and now the Cook County forest preserves.
While the legal risk of this exhibitionism is understood in these cases, particularly in public places, many have said it is worth it. But public indecency charges are a growing issue.
The Illinois statutes against homosexuality were revoked back in 1961. Since then, Chicago has become a hub for gay men and women. In the past, gay men would cruise well-known gay bars; however, the police caught on to the lewd conduct after a while and started making regular raids of these establishments. More recently, it's been assumed to be safer for gay men to search out sex in more public places than it is to be in a gay bar.
Illinois Public Indecency & Lewd Conduct Laws
The city of Chicago has had to make the laws very clear that anyone seen exposing their private areas in certain public places can and will receive a fine of $100-$500. Other acts could lead to charges of public indecency or lewd behavior.
Facing Public Indecency Charges after Gay Cruising?
The forest preserves are one of the most common cruising areas of late, along with the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. Public indecency cases involving gay and straight men have been happening more frequently. Some people say that the arrests have become a tool for harassment against the gay couples in the community. The law still stands that if anyone is in a state of nudity while in a vehicle or out in the open, then it could constitute a public indecency charge.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for public indecency in the Chicago area, then it is definitely in your best interests to obtain a skilled criminal defense lawyer to represent you. These types of cases need to be handled delicately and with discretion, in order to preserve your reputation and career and to avoid a criminal conviction. Contact the Law Offices of Mitch Furman today to discuss your criminal charges.