Penn State Streaker Fights Lewdness Charge

A Penn State University student is fighting a lewdness charge filed against her after she ran naked in an annual streak held to usher in spring finals.

A district judge ruled Wednesday that Elizabeth Burke, 20, of Jamison, will face trial for joining the unclothed dash, known as the Mifflin Streak, just after midnight May 5 on Mifflin Road.

Her attorney, Stacy Parks Miller, said the crime of open lewdness requires that someone be affronted or alarmed. She said more than 1,000 people gathered to watch the 50-foot streak, and doubts prosecutors will find a witness who says they were offended.

"Have we lost our senses of humor?" she asked.

Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane took a sterner view. To imply that running through the streets naked is acceptable is "the equivalent of saying our campus is like Woodstock," he said.

Burke was the only woman among eight people nabbed at the streak. The others waived their charges on to court, seeking to be admitted into a program for first-time offenders or face summary guilty pleas.