On the evening of April 15, an elderly woman (72) was making her way to her home close to Blackford Avenue in San Jose when a young man who exposed himself to her threw her to the ground, and took her purse. Local law enforcement officials are at a loss as to what the main objective of this incident was. Was the young man motivated by theft or was this a simple case of robbery?
If this were a simple case of charges of indecent exposure, the as yet unidentified man above would be subject to California Penal Code 314. There, ‘indecent exposure’ is defined as a sex crime in which one person purposefully shows, or ‘flashes’ another person their intimate body parts in an attempt either to sexually gratify him or herself or to offend. In this case, a conviction under this section of the law could be quite damaging, resulting in the possibility of up to 6 months in county jail, a $1,000 fine, and lifetime registration as a sex offender.
However, as there was also a robbery involved, there will likely be additional consequences for the young man, if his involvement can be proven. Violating CA Penal Code 211 (robbery) means the unlawful taking of another person’s property from them directly and against their will. According to the law, this must be accomplished through the use of force or fear. The crime of robbery is always considered a felony in California and what is known as ‘second degree’ robbery (any robbery that takes place outside of a vehicle used for public transportation, in an inhabited building, or near an ATM) is punishable by up to 5 years in state prison.