So I was reading National Geographic when I found this unlikely statement:

Some states, like Montana, are bringing down the hammer on their clothing-optional residents. A first offense for skinny-dipping means six months in jail; a second offense garners one year; a third offense, a hundred years. “It causes you to sit up and say, My gosh, who thinks these kinds of prison sentences make sense?” Morton said.

A hundred freakin’ years? For skinny dipping? I’ve been to Montana, they can be conservative but they aren’t stupid. I’ve shaken the hands of several people I suspect of having skinny-dipped in Montana, and hugged at least one more. I had to check this out.

Turns out Montana law isn’t quite that crazy. Under Section 45-5-504 of the Montana Code, that draconian 100 year penalty is for a third conviction for “indecent exposure”:

(1) A person commits the offense of indecent exposure if the person knowingly or purposely exposes the person’s genitals under circumstances in which the person knows the conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm in order to:
   (a) abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade another; or
   (b) arouse or gratify the person’s own sexual response or desire or the sexual response or desire of any person.

I’m thinking it would be tough to convict the average skinny dipper under that statute. “Hey, it was dark! How was I supposed to know that Granny Grundy was watching the river through night vision goggles?”