When David Lomanto was arrested in 2014 for watching porn inside of his car in a fast food parking lot, I remember thinking that there was no way this could stick. Lomanto, 53, was charged with and eventually convicted of Fourth-degree communication of obscenity and obstructing a criminal investigation. Later, a judge added disorderly conduct to the charges. What somebody does in the privacy of his or her own car should be their business, right?

I know you’re thinking “But there are public decency laws!” But Lomanto was just watching the screen, not engaging in any lewd activity.

As he argued, doesn’t this set a precedent whereby innocent people could be charged when they are viewing ANY type of sensitive material in their cars? What about a urologist studying anatomy books? Or R-rated movies that are, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from porn? Would it be illegal to watch those as well?

Let’s not forget that the boy who is supposed to have been “harmed” from this incident, this glimpse of sensitive material, was 12 years old. It’s quite possible—maybe even probable—that he’s seen way worse at home on his own personal devices. Yes, there are public decency laws. But those would generally cover nudity or lewd acts in a public place. Is the inside of your car parked outside of a fast food place really “a public place” to begin with?

This debate has always been a constitutional grey area. That’s why Lomanto fought the charge tooth and nail, and why I believe he got a raw deal. And he’s certainly no criminal. Although the court didn’t agree and Lomanto eventually lost, I believe as he does that you own your car and what are you doing it should be your business. But as long as we accept the laws that require seatbelts to be worn, we leave the door open for the government to tell us what we can and cannot do in our cars.

More from New Jersey 101.5:

Sign up for the NJ1015.com Newsletter

Get the best of NJ1015.com delivered to your inbox every day.