Open Lewdness Law and Legal Definition

Open lewdness at common law is the act of lewdness committed in public. Under statute, any lewdness not in secret, whether it be in the presence of one or several persons.

The phrase "open and gross lewdness" is not equivalent to the phrase "gross lewdness in an open place." The word "open" has no reference to place at all, nor to number of people. It is used simply to define a quality of the act of lewdness. It is "open lewdness" as opposed to "secret" lewdness. It defines the same act, regardless whether it is committed in presence of one or of many. The offense may be committed by the intentional act of exposing one's person indecently in the presence of one person, to whom it is offensive, as well as in the presence of many persons. [State v. Juneau, 88 Wis. 180 (Wis. 1894)].