ESRB is wild because they'll do whatever they want to, for seemingly no reason at all. I see someone constantly saying "but this or that game didn't have censorship" but those games usually go under the radar depending on how much the companies bribed the rating systems to make M rated games Teen. Or not up the ratings at all. You have to also consider the team behind the games and their stances on what would make their business further grow with little backlash.
I think the bath scenes were cut on three occasions, none about the nudity on the first two but the concept behind it. Some nudity on the third one. This is just a theory, not a confirmation.
In the first bath scene, Al fondles both Kohri's and Hitsugi's breasts as a humor attempt(this is common in Japan, where "accidental" gropes are considered some sort of funny factor) The second one has the girls talk about breast sizes and what guys would like the most. The third case is probably Hagito being stark naked while the rest has a towel.
This is less because of morals and more of cultural clashes. JP endorses body skin and will proudly show them off regardless of their motives or lack of. US is largely conservatives when it comes to this and things considered negative context(even though the second bathscene, past the boobsize thing, does end on a wholesome note) PSO2 is not the first SEGA game to have censored bath scenes overseas nor will they be last.
I think these were the three main factors why it was cut. They simply do not add much to the story other than slice of life sub events. So either SEGA or ESRB probably did not want to add this in after receiving cultural feedback. There is also the subjects of playing safe and not wanting to take a risk of being sued over the laws OP described(but this would be a moral and a legal choice)
That said, there's been a lot of pedophile accusations thrown around and it has really damaged people. You are not a bad person for wanting censorship gone. You are not a bad person for wanting to create child-like or petite characters. People who are arguing solely so that they can play with the preferred height are only debating for what they like and believe, just like how pro-censorship fights for what they believe in. I think we can all learn and grow from each other.
But the reason I bring this topic at the end is not another accusation or tell you to stop playing if you don't like this. Rather, I want you to understand something that is relatable to the topic of morality. Pedophiles, and I mean actual ones in real life, do a lot of things to derail and hide around law loopholes. They will hide in anything, and fictional is no exception. There used to be a small loophole within the law where you can draw explicit images(I am talking about actual children drawings in disguise, not lolicons/petites or something akin to Japanese culture. I want to preface that these are two very different things) and create Roleplays into real life scenarios via anime communities and not get charged for it because of the fictionist laws. This is why people are being arrested over questionable "anime" drawings recently. Because it no longer becomes just a drawing or just being fictional when they are trying to turn the system in their favor. It's the same argument to say that Cuties, an very obvious bait for these people, are simply fictions media because it staged as a movie when there's obviously children being exploited. Cuties however, is not related, and is off-topic to this thread so I won't go further into that.
But that's mostly why accusations are being thrown around, and why game companies, particularly SEGA, Nintendo, any form of big game companies in the west branch take caution as to not damage their reputation as it'd decrease their income. They have to play it safe. The argument "it's just fictional" is kind of moot in this day or age. That said, I'd like it if people for censorship could also not throw the word so easily around. Even if it's questionable, you simply cannot know over an internet thread. And you're not making your points any better.
Apologies for the long rant. And for bad Engrish.
*Fixed some typos and did some structuring