Topless activist Holly Van Voast (AKA the topless paparazzo Harvey Van Voast) had another successful day in court yesterday, once again successfully fighting for the right for women to show their boobs anywhere a man can. Of course, as her lawyer points out, "she still has three outstanding busts" shimmying through the courts. But she's hoping to get out of those like so many brassieres soon enough.
Yesterday's victory for free boobs came about after Van Voast's June arrest for riding a Metro North train with her tits out. The charge of breaking a hygiene code violation was quickly tossed by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Jennifer Schecter after defense lawyer Ron Kuby argued that the regulation applied only to people using MTA facilities for washing and bathing. "All that was charged against Ms. Voast was a naked allegation of toplessness," he reportedly quipped.
This was certainly not the first time that the topless crusader has been arrested for taking her shirt off in public—which is very much legal in New York. Just last month she was taken away for a mental evaluation in an ambulance after she held a topless protest outside of the Midtown HOOTERS.
When we reached out to Van Voast about her latest victory, the 46-year-old Bronx activist reiterated that "this is not easy to do." But she'll keep doing it because she really believes that there needs to be "some sort of large scale announcement made to educate people (laypeople and officials) on this ruling (Santorelli 1992) so the police force can stop making themselves look so foolish (and MTA and FDNY too)." She'd really much rather have her Harvey character be something "more about the underground scene that I admire and love" rather than an activist figure. But until that happens she'll keep taking her clothes off. "Activism only lasts as long as people are ignorant," she notes. "I am thinking beyond the ignorance."
And Van Voast still has more court dates ahead of her. In January she was picked up for walking around St. Patrick's without her top (and, according to police, pot in her purse). And in May and June she was arrested for being topless on the subway. She's due back in court for those offenses on October 2.