Is Shaving a Criminal Activity?

Shave me, Johnny!

Shave me, Johnny!

Anyone who has suffered at the hands of a scissor-happy stylist–a person who doesn’t quite understand that the phrase “just an inch off the bottom” means just ONE inch off and not “Make me look like Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, please!”–will, perhaps, better understand the pain of a 29 year-old Los Angeles man whose body hair (yep, all of it) was shorn off without his consent.

And the worst part was, he’d just grown out his bangs!

Actually, beyond the full bodied haircut, unfortunately the man was put through quite an ordeal, allegedly at the hands of a former Redondo Beach reserve police officer. According to the LA Times blog, John Haig Marshall, 53, was arrested earlier this month when the victim reported that “Marshall had slipped him some sort of date rape drug and raped and shaved him in late September.”

Now there’s no question that the drugging and raping business is horrific and illegal, and the perpetrator should be justly punished for this offense. But as I read the story, the question that most perplexed me was this: Is shaving someone really a crime?

Fortunately I know a lawyer who could answer that question, and here’s what my big sister reports:

“As far as shaving someone goes, it’s considered battery, which is defined as, ‘an intentional unpermitted act causing harmful or offensive contact with the “person” of another.’ In other words, you don’t have to cause any actual injury; the crime of battery involves offensive touching. So someone who merely spits on another can be charged with (and convicted of) battery.”

So there you have it. And now I have to go ponder the implications of “offensive contact…” Happy hump day to you!





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