Over the past few months, police have been investigated alleged acts of sexual activity in Belmont Mound State Park – a popular Lafayette County park. The investigation found that people were meeting in the park after seeing ads on Craigslist advertising supposed sexual encounters. Several unnamed individuals have pending charges in the matter. This investigation brings up several important points about what is and is not allowed in public parks.
Public vs. Private Property
In general a person is held to a higher standard of conduct in public than they are in private. Some activities that are completely permissible in the confines of your own home, such as drinking a beer or having sex, are not permissible in public and can result in citations or criminal charges. In State and Federal parks, alcoholic beverages are generally allowed if you are of legal drinking age; however, there are some parks where they are not. There should be signs posted at each park with this information. It is always illegal to possess alcohol if you are under 21. If you are being loud, or behaving in a manner that a law enforcement officer deems inappropriate, you can be cited or charged with disorderly conduct.
Sexual Activity in Public
Engaging in sexual activity in a public place, especially in a State or Federal park is generally frowned upon. A law enforcement officer would be able to charge individuals with lewd and lascivious behavior and/or disorderly conduct, both of which are misdemeanors. If you are engaging in sexual behavior in front of or near children, you could be charged with Causing a Child to View or Listen to Sexual Activity, which is a class F Felony in the State of Wisconsin. There are other possibilities for citations or criminal charges that vary depending upon the county you are in and any local municipalities ordinances. In general, if you are unsure whether or not an act is acceptable in public, it is best to err on the side of caution. In Wisconsin, ignorance of the law is not a defense, which means just because you didn’t know it was illegal, doesn’t mean you can’t be charged or found guilty of the crime. Source: http://host.madison.com/news/local/crime_and_courts/sex-in-state-park-could-result-in-charges-in-lafayette/article_439e1232-c271-5a4b-9311-a188e6da62d4.html