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New York City pays $29,000 for arresting topless woman
POSTED: 3:31 p.m. EDT, June 18, 2007
Story Highlights• Jill Coccaro, 27, accepts settlement for her 2005 arrest during topless stroll
• NYC police held her for 12 hours before telling her she wouldn't be charged
• Appeals court ruled in '92 that women have same right as men to go topless
• Lawyer: "We hope police learn a lesson and respect the rights of women"
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NEW YORK (AP) -- A woman arrested for exposing her breasts has accepted a $29,000 settlement from the city, her lawyer said.
Jill Coccaro, 27, was arrested on a topless stroll two years ago, despite a 1992 state appeals court ruling that concluded women should have the same right as men to take off their shirts.
Coccaro, who now goes by the name Phoenix Feeley, remained in custody for 12 hours before she was told prosecutors were not going to pursue charges.
Her attorney, Jeffrey Rothman, told the Daily News that his client won the civil rights settlement from the city, which did not admit or deny wrongdoing.
"We hope the police learn a lesson and respect the rights of women to go topless," Rothman said.
Feeley told the New York Post that she was not treated well after her August 4, 2005, arrest in Manhattan's Lower East Side section. She claimed in an October lawsuit that a police officer yanked her out of a patrol car by her hair and police took her to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
She told the newspaper she had gone bare-breasted after running the 2004 city marathon without police bothering her.
"I've always just felt that was something natural," Feeley said of going topless. "I've kind of always done it out of practicality."
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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