A Warning to Nude Soakers Revisited

March 31, 2010

Katherine Pioli
120416 Untitled2

by Katherine Pioli

All charges dropped, but nude soaking in nature, even in darkness and far from a road, remains a crime in Utah County.

nudieCombine nude bathing in remote hot springs with lewdness charges and you have a political bomb, both in Utah and around the country. The December issue of CATALYST published the story “Warning to Nude Bathers,” about a group of firefighters caught in just such a predicament at Diamond Fork (Fifth Water) hot springs in Utah County.

Combine nude bathing in remote hot springs with lewdness charges and you have a political bomb, both in Utah and around the country. The December issue of CATALYST published the story “Warning to Nude Bathers,” about a group of firefighters caught in just such a predicament at Diamond Fork (Fifth Water) hot springs in Utah County (http://www.bit.ly/nudesoakers). The story quickly caught the attention of local news media as well as a national audience. The CATALYST office spent a number of weeks flooded with supportive calls from angry and concerned individuals. Thanks to all of the hot spring soakers (Mor­mons, non-Mormons, nude and suit-preferring), nudists and naturalists who offered their support.

In the end, the issue was too hot for Utah County. On January 29, 2010, Deputy Utah County Attorney Nicole Myers moved the court to “dismiss charges without prejudice.” Judge Steven W. Ridge signed the motion and all charges were dropped for all eight people involved in the case (one had settled for a charge of disorderly conduct before the dismissal was issued).

Myers explained that because of multiple issues involved in these specific cases, most notably the sign at the trailhead indicating that nude bathing was not prohibited (and perhaps that one of the bathers was a member of the press), she did not feel comfortable prosecuting. That does not mean, she warned, that nude bathing is now acceptable. The Forest Service has removed the sign in question and the possibility for further raids by Utah County sheriffs remains. The county says they will continue to prosecute new cases of nudity at the springs.

You can register your complaints and opinions here:

• Utah County Sheriffs: main office (Spanish Fork), 801-851-4000

• Email a formal complaint at: http://www.co.utah.ut.us/dept/Sheriff/Information/PersonnelComplaint-Compliment.asp

The Uinta National Forest: Spanish Fork Ranger District, 801-798-3571
Forest supervisors office, 801-342-5100