October 20, 2006
Indecent Exposure Laws Apply Only to Men?
From AP: In the category of bad interactions between older women and 14 year old boys who are neighbors, a 40 year old woman tired of hearing her 14 year old neighbor play basketball. So, to discourage him, she stripped within sight of his basketball venue, and threatened to strip again every time he played basketball. The boy told his parents, who called the cops, who cited her for indecent exposure. The court dismissed the citation because the relevant statute applies to someone who "exposes his person," which the judge said covers only men, not women.
Oddity #1: How does a judge read "person" to mean "male genitalia"? That might be a more defensible interpretation if the statute restricted exposure of "manhood" or something unambiguously male. (The reference to "his" should be irrelevant given a separate statutory provision that says masculine gendered words should be read as gender neutral).
Oddity #2: Why did the woman think that disrobing would discourage the boy from playing basketball?
Oddity #3: Why did the teenager complain about his neighbor's nudity? Don't get me wrong, underage teenage boys need to be protected from sexual predation and other risks. But realistically, most teenage boys would consider this situation a windfall, even if the nudity was committed with the most malicious intent.
Posted by Eric at October 20, 2006 03:21 PM | Legal Industry
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