In what we think might be one of the worst rulings ever, a judge ruled that a pat on the butt is not "forcible touching" and therefore, it's pretty much LEGAL. Fabric store employee Mohammed Nuruzzaman was charged with forcible touching, third degree sex abuse, and second degree harassment after allegedly touching a female customer's butt - without her consent - last November. However, Criminal Court Judge Richard M. Weinberg broke out The New Oxford English Dictionary to say that patting was okay.

The word "forcible" connotes something "done by force, vigorous and strong and powerful." To pat is to "touch quickly and gently with the flat of the hand."

A pat on the buttocks, regardless of how offensive it might be to the recipient, does not qualify as forcible touching.

Plus, Judge Weinberg stated that the patting didn't "gratify sexual desire," so he threw out the sexual abuse charge. Nuruzzaman was left with the harassment charge; the NY Post says that the forcible touching charge is more serious, because if convicted, the jail sentence could be up to a year. Ugh. While Gothamist suspected that you couldn't really file charges against someone for patting you on the butt, we're not that happy that more people know it's legal. Ladies (and gentlemen), Gothamist's suggestions for avoiding unwelcome butt pats are to wear long coats, keep your messenger bags on your butt, farting, and not participating in various male sports.