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Pregnant Woman Files Charges Over Belly Rubbing
A representative from the Pennsylvania State Police tells Yahoo Shine that earlier this month, 57-year-old Richard J. Beishline visited his neighbor, a 30-year-old pregnant woman named Michelle Troutman in Frankfort, Pennsylvania. According to the police report, after giving Troutman a hug, Beishline said, “I just want to be friends” and rubbed her stomach. Troutman pushed him away, and he quickly left. She has since filed harassment charges against Beishline, and if he pleads guilty, he’ll pay a fine determined by a judge. If he pleads not guilty, both parties will have to testify in court.
“Pennsylvania law defines harassment as engaging in conduct that harasses, annoys, or alarms a person,” DiLucente tells Yahoo Shine. “That’s always been the law, whether someone is pregnant or not, but this is the first time to my knowledge it’s been used in such a way.” In order for the Troutman to win, says DiLucente, she would have to prove a "course of conduct," meaning the incident happened multiple times. If it happened just once, Beishline would likely receive a simple criminal citation, which bears the seriousness of a traffic ticket. “However, this case will make a dent in people’s awareness of a woman’s personal boundaries,” he says.
One common belief was the idea that if you wanted to become pregnant you should rub the tummy of a pregnant woman. They must have figured that the fertility would "rub off" on the person doing the rubbing. As nice as this may sound, there is no medical data to back this up, and many pregnant women are probably tired of being rubbed like a genie's lamp.
reply to post by 12voltz
Yeah, I hate the litigious society we've created around ourselves and people really need to work on their people skills rather than call the gun crazy cops for every altercation.
having said that, I think its a good thing that at least one woman is bringing this issue to the courts in order to bring attention to the situation. People should think twice before going up and touching anyone uninvited, whether pregnant or not. pregnancy is not an excuse to forget manners and basic personal boundaries. If bringing charges against a few people gets this issue out in front of the public and makes people think twice before going up and groping a stranger's belly, then I think its a good thing.
"Hello, I'd like to greet you in a way that requires physical contact."
"Slow down, what exactly do you mean?"
"I would like to perform the simple gesture of shaking hands."
"Are you trying to invade my personal space? What is wrong with you?"
"No, that's not what I meant ..."
"Stop harassing me you pig!"
"I think you misunderstand ..."
"Hello, is this 911? I'm in need of urgent help!"
"This is 911 speaking, did you just harass me?"