Grand jury rejects statue as obscenity - KCTV5 News

Grand jury rejects statue as obscenity

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A Johnson County grand jury rejected a group's contention that a bare-breasted statue in the Overland Park Arboretum is obscenity.

The 15-member grand jury decided not to issue any criminal indictments.

"We sat for one day and viewed the photographs of the statue," according to a statement from the grand jury. "We reviewed the Kansas law and found that sculpture in question did not meet the legal definition of obscenity."

The investigation is now concluded and the grand jury dismissed.

The headless sculpture of a woman with her breasts exposed is titled Accept or Reject or The Choice, and it is part of an international art exhibit.

The city said the sculpture depicting the woman in such a way is part of the artist's message.

The American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri said they gathered enough signatures to force the grand jury review because they said children would be exposed to obscenity. The group said a "sexting sculpture in a family friendly, children's venue was recklessly placed."

Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach said in a statement that he and council members appreciate the grand jury's review and that "a jury of our peers" found that the "sculpture meets our community standards and is a form of expression when it comes to art."

"Art is a protected form of expression meant to generate thought, and dialogue. It is highly subjective and evokes a range of commentary and emotion. 'Accept or Reject' did all of those things. The grand jury's decision confirms this conclusion," Gerlach said.

To read previous coverage, click here and here and here.

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