Woman pleads not guilty in NJ church sex case

Image 1 of 2

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) — A homeless woman accused of having sex with a man beneath a statue of the Virgin Mary at a Roman Catholic church in New Jersey has pleaded not guilty to lewdness and other charges.

Noelle Smart entered the pleas Tuesday in Seaside Heights Municipal Court.

Smart, 48, and Anthony Getchius, 43, were found May 22 in "a sacred area" on the grounds of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which is next door to police headquarters, authorities said.

Smart told the Asbury Park Press she and Getchius were homeless and staying behind the church. She said, "the act of lewdness wasn't happening."

A public defender was appointed Tuesday to represent Smart.

Getchius was charged with lewdness, disrobing in public and other offenses. It was unknown whether he has an attorney.