Is this scneario illegal?

I’m lot looking for options but facts.

I had an argument with a friend. He says that if you ask a female stranger on the street in the US to show her t*ts to you she can have you arrested for sexual harassment.

I said she can’t because for it to be sexual harassment it has to be persistent and unwanted.

In this scenario the female is a total stranger and you are not meeting her in a school where either of you attend or where you work. Also you have never seen this person again and after she says No you never have contact with her again.

If it helps the location where this didn’t take place but we are located is New Jersey.

If she is underage then I could see this possibly being an offense, but an adult? I doubt it.

I’ve never heard of a criminal offense of “sexual harassment”. If you have never seen her before, and, if she says no, you never see her again, I highly doubt that could be construed as stalking either.

Nope stranger is 18 so there is no issue of underage. My friend thinks he knows everything but I know he doesn’t because he is nit a member here :slight_smile:

I never have either, but YMMV depending on what state you’re in.

Disorderly Conduct would probably be the charge, though, once again, YMMV depending on jurisdiction and the exact verbiage used, and how persistent the asker was.

I think PK is going to have the final say on a question like this, so I’ll take his word on it, but I’ll add in that in addition to the exact verbiage, the tone of the verbiage would probably come into question as well. If it came off as sarcastic that would be one thing, if it sounded like a threat, it would be very different. Also, it’s probably going to depend heavily on the what the responding officer wants to do about it (which would depend on all sorts of things) as well as whether or not she wants to press charges.

Sexual Harrassment is not a crime, it is a tort. You cannot be arrested for it.

I’m reasonably sure that asking a woman to show you her tits during a Mardi Gras party doesn’t trigger arrests. Not only does the situation change by location but also, sometimes, by date.

If you ask her and she replies in the negative and you ask her again, then it is sexual harrassment. Once someone says NO, shut up.

Yes, but the OP specifically mentions being arrested for sexual harrassment. That isn’t going to happen no matter how many times you ask her. Even if you two work together and you’ve been talking about her huge tits all week. You can get fired, and she can sue, but she can’t “press charges” and you can’t be arrested. It isn’t a crime.

No need to talk about violation of restraining orders or stalking or other things. They may be related or arise from the same actions, but are not specifically “Sexual Harrasment”.

As others have stated, Sexual Harassment is a tort (a civil harm) generally related to employment relationships. It isn’t a crime where you can be arrested by the police.

I agree with pkbites that Disorderly Conduct is the most obvious charge. Though DisCon can be a bit of a trashcan charge, at least in NY the OP’s hypothetical act falls squarely in the definition:
NY Penal Law 240.20 - Disorderly Conduct
*A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof:

3. In a public place, he uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; *

That’s if you do it once. if you follow the person on the street, asking them repeatedly, you may be guilty of Harassment.

NYPL 240.26 - Harassment in the Second Degree
*A person is guilty of harassment in the second degree when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person:

3. He or she engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purpose. *

If you put the person in reasonable fear of physical injury while you pester them, it becomes Harassment in the First Degree.

When does it become sexual assault?

If he touches her in any way, it is legal assault. If he touches her breasts, crotch or butt, sexual assault.

NYPL § 120.00 Assault in the third degree.
A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when:
1. With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes
such injury to such person or to a third person; or
2. He recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or
3. With criminal negligence, he causes physical injury to another
person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.

In the absence of actual injury, a possible charge is

§ 130.52 Forcible touching.
A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person
intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches the
sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of
degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the
actor’s sexual desire.
For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes
squeezing, grabbing or pinching.
Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor.

In New York State there is no specific crime known as “Sexual Assault.” Thre is an entire category called “Sex offenses” (Article 130) but without knowing what YOU mean by “Sexual Assault” I can’t answer your question literally.

Browse the Penal Law at your leisure, if you like.

When you make a threat to committ a sexual battery and have the means to immediately carry out the threat?

“Sexual Assault” is a buzz word much like “assault weapon”. You will have to define it before asking the question. But by defining it, you will have answered your own question. Not every jurisdiction has a crime called “sexual assault”. And among the ones that do, it is likely defined differently in each.

This is not universal. What jurisdiction are you speaking of?

In Florida, an unlawful touching is a battery, not an assault. An assault is a threat to carry out a battery. Touching a person on the breasts, crotch or butt is going to be any manner of crimes depending mostly on the age of the victim. None of which are “sexual assault”.


Just from the bare (ahem) facts laid out by the OP, this would not be a crime in Ohio. The more persistent and unwanted such statements are, of course, the more likely a cop is to arrest you for disturbing the peace. Just from the OP, though, it’s very unlikely you’d be convicted, and if convicted, extremely unlikely the conviction would stand up on appeal. Crude come-ons are one of the prices we pay for having a First Amendment.

My sister was walking down a concourse of the Pittsburgh Airport once and noticed a man looking at her intently as he approached from the other direction. She thought, “Do I know this guy?” As they passed he smiled, said cheerily, “Nice tits!” and kept on walking. She was both amused and a little offended. Just a little.

On the street? As a general principle, no – the tort of sexual harrassment arises under federal law in the workplace, and so far as I’m aware doesn’t extend to two people passing each other on the street.

Turning to the OP’s question, if the incident happened in Virginia, a zealous prosecutor might charge the speaker with violation of Va Code § 18.2-387, which provides in pertinent part:

(emphasis added)

Is “procure” under that section defined as a mere lewd request or suggestion?

Well, then. . .um. . .would you. . .never mind.