Aus­tralian state bans ‘moon­ing’ and ‘streak­ing’

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

The Aus­tralian state of Vic­to­ria has specif­i­cally out­lawed “moon­ing” – ex­pos­ing but­tocks in pub­lic – and “streak­ing” – run­ning naked in pub­lic – as part of an over­haul of the crim­i­nal code.

The of­fences were pre­vi­ously pun­ish­able as in­de­cent or of­fen­sive ex­po­sure but have now been ex­plic­itly listed un­der up­dated leg­is­la­tion.

First-time of­fend­ers could face a two month jail sen­tence and re­peat of­fend­ers could be im­pris­oned for up to six months.

The leg­is­la­tion also specif­i­cally out­laws singing “an ob­scene song or bal­lad”.

Jus­ti­fy­ing the changes, Martin Pakula, Vic­to­ria’s at­tor­ney-gen­eral, as­sured the pub­lic: “I don’t want to ruin any­one’s fun”.

“We don’t want a sit­u­a­tion where some­one who might streak at the cricket is fun­nelled into the same cat­e­gory as some­one who might jump out in front of a 13-year-old girl and flash,” he told 3AW ra­dio.

“They are very dif­fer­ent types of of­fences and the leg­is­la­tion for the first time makes that clear… Sex­ual ex­po­sure is of course a much more se­ri­ous of­fence.”

Moon­ing in Aus­tralia, as Mel­bourne’s Her­ald Sun web­site noted, is a “prac­tice [that] has long been pop­u­lar with school­boys, protesters and al­co­hol-fu­elled rev­ellers”.

Streak­ing is par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar at sport­ing fix­tures but of­fend­ers face heavy fines and can be banned from sta­di­ums.

The amend­ments were among about 50 crimes in­cluded in an over­haul of sex­ual of­fence laws which was de­signed to dis­tin­guish acts of in­de­cency from sex crimes.

“If you con­tem­plate a sit­u­a­tion where it’s not [an of­fence] you could have peo­ple sim­ply do­ing it ev­ery­day with no pos­si­bil­ity of any kind of sanc­tion,” Mr Pakula said.

“So it’s al­ways been an of­fence, it re­mains an of­fence but the leg­is­la­tion sim­ply sep­a­rates out the less se­ri­ous of­fence from the more se­ri­ous of­fence.”

The laws were passed by the Vic­to­rian par­lia­ment with bi­par­ti­san sup­port.

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