Indecent Exposure

San Jose Sergeant arrested for Indecent Exposure (CA Penal Code 314)

A San Jose Sergeant was arrested for charges of misdemeanor indecent exposure in Redwood City (California Penal Code 314) after he allegedly masturbated in his vehicle while exposing his privates to a 39-year-old woman.  It is alleged that the woman initially ignored the Sergeant but that he followed along side her while continuing to expose his genitals.

Should the Sergeant be convicted of indecent exposure charges, he is facing a jail sentence up to 6 months, a maximum fine of $1,000, as well as mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender (California Penal Code 290). Felony charges of the same kind can end in heftier fines and time in state prison.  He is currently on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.

Placerville Man Arrested on Charges of Indecent Exposure (CA Penal Code 314)

Local law enforcement agents in Placerville were stunned to learn that a man who had, just minutes before, registered as a sex offender at a nearby police station, had allegedly exposed himself to a strange woman on the street.  Witnesses claim that he left the police station just 25 minutes before committing this second sex crime in the 1300 block of Broadway Drive, just minutes from the station.  The man was arrested both on charges of indecent exposure and for a parole violation.

Strangely, California law (which dates back to 1872) is quite vague when it comes to defining the kinds of behavior that may be considered ‘indecent exposure’ (CA Penal Code 314).  In the main, indecent exposure is the action of purposefully revealing one’s intimate parts to another person.  This violation of the law, however, must be motivated by sexual gratification (of one’s self or of another person).  Thus, the law on this point is not only often considered archaic or out-of-date, but also difficult to prove, as it involves determining, beyond the shadow of a doubt, what an individual person’s motivation was in exposing themselves.

Although indecent exposure is not often considered to be a serious offense by members of the public, violating this law comes with, perhaps, far too serious consequences.  For example, if you are convicted of a first-offense indecent exposure charge, you can expect to spend up to 6 months in county jail and be subject to a $1,000 fine.  However, any second-offense charge could mean facing a longer sentence in state prison.  Most importantly, even a first-offense indecent exposure conviction, as can be seen in the story above, results in the penalty of lifetime registration as a sex offender.

 

Man Arrested for Indecent Exposure in Palo Alto Mall (CA Penal Code 314)

A 36-year-old man has recently been arrested on charges of misdemeanor indecent exposure after he allegedly exposed himself to several persons in the Stanford Shopping Center in Menlo Park.  Witnesses claim that the man exposed his intimate areas at least 3 times within the space of one hour’s time.  The incident was reported both by the alleged victims and by other mall-goers.

California Penal Code 314 makes it illegal for anyone to purposefully expose their genital areas in order to either a) offend another person or b) for the purposes of sexual gratification.  Interestingly, this law has been in existence in the state since 1872 and it covers a vast array of behavior, some of which might no longer be considered ‘indecent.’  However, it is still considered a more serious crime than most people think; there are certainly harsh penalties awaiting anyone who participates in indecently exposing themselves in California.

Consequently, conviction on a indecent exposure charge (almost always considered a misdemeanor) opens you up to a $1,000 fine and the possibility of 6 months in county jail.  Although this may not seem a harsh punishment, it is important to note that any conviction involving indecent exposure also forces you to register as a sex offender, for life.  This is perhaps the worst part of even a misdemeanor indecent exposure conviction, the shame and embarrassment that often come with having to continually register as a sex offender, especially when your behavior was not intended for the purposes of offending another person, nor for the purpose of express sexual gratification.

 

 

Man Arrested for Indecent Exposure in Pleasanton (CA Penal Code 314)

The Santa Rita jail is currently holding a 22-year-old man (name withheld to protect the identity of the accused) for having allegedly committed the crime of indecent exposure.  A woman living at the Las Ventanas apartment complex on Vineyard Avenue claims that the young man followed her home after she walked her dog and then proceeded to masturbate in front of her.  Other residents of the same complex have complained of at least 1 other similar incident, but it has yet to be proven that this man was responsible in both cases.

Although being charged with indecent exposure (CA Penal Code 314) may not seem like a terribly serious crime, law enforcement officials might beg to differ.  Some clarification may be necessary, however, as to what constitutes ‘indecent exposure.’  Does a person simply have to be partially or fully nude in public?  The answer is that there cannot be a violation of CA PC 314 unless the public nudity in question was for the express purpose of sexual gratification or offense.

Additionally, the penalties associated with the law against indecent exposure are harsh indeed.  If you are arrested for the first time on such a charge, you can expect prosecutors to treat it like a misdemeanor.  You can also expect to spend about $1,000 in fines and spend up to 6 months in county jail.  However, if you are convicted of a second offense, then your crime is no longer treated as a misdemeanor, but as a felony.  Most disturbing of all, even if you are convicted of a first offense misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure, you will be required to register as a sex offender for life, causing perpetual humiliation, continued surveillance by police, and potential problems with employment.

 

Parolee Sex Offenders Now Required to Take Lie-Detector Tests (CA Penal Code 314)

Most Californians are already aware that there are many different consequences for an individual who has been convicted of a crime involving a sex offense.  Usually, penalties include lengthy incarceration, lifetime sex offender registry, state-approved psychiatric programs and, perhaps, the promise of continued humiliation for the remainder of their lives.  Now, law enforcement officials insist that parolees who have been previously convicted of sex offenses take a lie detector test at regular intervals.  While some argue that this will prove a useful tool for predicting future criminal behavior, especially that of violent crimes such as rape and murder, others argue that there is no point to this practice as lie detector tests are known to be unreliable and easy to ‘fool.’

There are 18 other states that have implemented similar or identical practices, but there is no statistical data yet that definitively proves that these techniques actually work to prevent more sex crimes.  Although, at last count, California has approximately 6,250 sex offenders currently out on parole, this number does not take into account the simple fact that an individual may be considered a sex offender for anything from charges of indecent exposure (CA Penal Code 314) to more violent sex crimes.  Several questions remain, however, the least of which is whether or not this type of procedure will actually work to prevent crimes.  Additionally, will sex offenders have to bear the financial burden of such testing or will it be taxpayers?

 

San Francisco Jury Exonerates Man on Indecent Exposure Charges (CA Penal Code 314)

In August, 38-year-old man (name withheld for privacy) was not paying attention to where he was answering nature’s call and frightened a young mother and her 4-year-old child.  He was arrested on charges of indecent exposure pursuant to (CA Penal Code 314).  Though recently a jury has determined that he is not guilty.

California Penal Code 314 is a vague law that many people argue is too inexact.  Others argue that this set of laws infringes upon individuals’ rights.  This may be due to the fact that California’s ‘indecent exposure’ law has remained much the same since it was put on the books in 1872.

He was exonerated in the case, claiming that he merely wished to relieve himself before returning to watching the soccer match; he did not intend to ‘flash’ or expose himself to the mother and child who happened to see him.  He thought everyone was paying as much attention to the soccer match. He could have faced up to 6 months in county jail, $1,000 fine, and most devastatingly, a lifetime registration as a sex offender.

 

San Francisco Man Acquitted of Indecent Exposure on BART (CA Penal Code 314)

28-year-old (name withheld for privacy) of San Francisco was recently arrested for felony indecent exposure due to an incident in a BART car, during which he attempted to have sex with a seat on the transit system.  The BART operator noticed him making sexual motions against the seat in a car near the cab and then witnessed him masturbating as well.  He then pulled out a crack pipe and began to smoke it in front of the operator.  Today, he was released, having been acquitted of all charges.

(CA Penal Code 314) covers laws concerning indecent exposure.  This specific crime is committed when an individual purposefully and willfully exposes their genitals in order to gain attention from others by this act.  His attorney was able to make the argument that he was engaging in a “private moment” and was not acting in the manner he did in order to gain the attention of others or to offend other persons, both of which would be required for a conviction.  In his case, the car was nearly empty and he did not seem to notice the presence of the operator for quite some time.

In the state of California, aggravated indecent exposure is considered a ‘wobbler.’  If you have been accused of a misdemeanor indecent exposure charge, you may spend up to 6 months in county jail and pay a fine of about $1,000, in addition to registering as a sex offender for life.  However, an ‘aggravated’ or felony indecent exposure charge, you may face up to 3 years in state prison, a maximum of $10,000 in fines, and registry as a sex offender.