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Worcester Woman’s Topless Bike Ride Raises Questions About Laws

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Stacy Schnee the topless biker. (Photo Courtesy: TELEGRAM.COM/ T&G Staff/STEVE LANAVA)

Stacy Schnee the topless biker. (Photo Courtesy: TELEGRAM.COM/ T&G Staff/STEVE LANAVA)

420x316-grad-jones Lana Jones
Lana Jones is a general assignment reporter for WBZ Newsradio 1030....
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WORCESTER (CBS) — A Worcester woman’s choice to ride her bicycle topless has raised questions about the clarity of some state and local laws.

Stacy Schnee is part of a group called “Topless Equality,” which advocates for women to be able to go topless, like men.

Schnee undoubtedly has a unique perspective. She used to live as a man.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones reports

According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the 38-year-old mother of two had gender reassignment surgery in June 2011 and breast augmentation last year.

In the past, Schnee has gone topless at her home but on Thursday around 4 p.m., she decided to take a bike ride to Leicester.

The ride tied up traffic as people slowed down alongside Schnee.

“She is out there riding around, appearing to be topless and exposing herself for the shock value,” Leicester Police Chief James Hurley said.

At the time, Schnee was wearing “pasties” to cover a portion of her breasts.

Now, police and the district attorney’s office are trying to decide whether charges should be filed.

“Based upon a review of the law, it is unclear whether her partially covering herself up, puts her on the right side of the law,” Hurley said.

Massachusetts General Laws imply if only a small part of the breast is covered, it should be considered nudity. Other sections of the law state a breast is uncovered if there is no covering “below a point immediately above the top of the areolae.”

Other sections of the law mention the intent to shock is to be considered illegal as well.

Schnee says she doesn’t see any problems.

“When I was riding around, I was wearing pasties,” Schnee said. “The police talked to me for like 10 minutes and the whole time I was standing there waving at the people driving by.”

Topless Equality promotes equality for men and women when it comes to exposing their chest area.

The group says it is working toward changing laws but also clarifying the laws already on the books.

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