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Rhode Island

Moonstone Beach

RHODE ISLAND - Reports from the internet and from local press announcements state that arrests for nudity have taken place at Moonstone Beach in RI within the last few years.

Apparently some people have been congregating in the state right-of-way, the former location of the Town of South Kingstown's Town Beach, and going nude under a misconception that it is OK to do so now. Indeed many people congregated nude in this location and at the former NENA BEACH area near the eastern edge of the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge after the refuge protective "piping plover" fencing came down in the fall of 1998 until it was too cold to do so anymore, thus firing the rumor mill that it was OK to be nude there once again.

This is a false assumption. Many autumnal users returned to this location in the spring and summer at personal risk of arrest.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), operators of Trustom Pond NWR (formerly Moonstone Beach), obtained a review by the courts of the state disorderly person statute in the early 90s which found that ANY person could be a complainant for the disorderly person statute, not just a property owner as had been previously assumed by many, including local police. With that redefinition in hand any person could complain about "genital exposure", a component of the disorderly person statute. This included a police officer as "any person".

It was this redefinition that contributed to the demise of NENA BEACH in its last location near the Charlestown Breachway in South Kingstown in the early 90s.

People in that township have repeatedly warned, that any person going nude on the former nude beaches are at risk of arrest for disorderly person. Any person nude there may be arrested. Cost to get out of jail is sometimes $125 which is 10% of the maximum fine plus bail bondsman fee, likely applied to out-of-state offenders.

In Boston, AM news station WBZ picked up the story and ran a piece on the arrests as well as RI regional newspapers.

Please pass the word that it is *NOT OK* to be nude here and that you are at risk of arrest.

Ancillary to this are parking issues in the state right-of-way dirt road that leads up to a single family home and the beach. This road allows parking on one side but you must have a town beach parking permit affixed to your window to remain there. Cars left there without a sticker will be towed and its at least a mile to the nearest pay phone to call someone.