A Seattle man was arrested last month for indecent exposure after trying to scan his genitals at a Capitol Hill grocery store.
Employees saw the man laughing to himself in the self-checkout line and they realized he was placing his genitals on the grocery checkout scanner. The 31-year-old man ran away when confronted, but returned five hours later. After he refused to leave the store, the man got into a shoving match with a store security officer.
The man eventually left the store, but police officers caught up with him and booked him into jail on suspicion of indecent exposure.
A person is guilty of indecent exposure if he or she intentionally makes any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the person of another, knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm.
The act of breastfeeding or expressing breast milk is not indecent exposure, under Washington law.
Generally, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to three months in jail, or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. However, there are two exceptions.
If the person exposes him- or herself to a minor under the age of 14, it is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, or a $5,000 fine, or both.
It is a Class C felony if the person has previously been convicted of indecent exposure or of a sex offense. A Class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, or a fine of $10,000, or both.
Earlier this year, in Bellingham north of Seattle, police investigated a rash of indecent exposure cases in which the suspect was also being sought for voyeurism.
A person commits the crime of voyeurism if, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, he or she views, photographs, or films another person without that person's knowledge while the victim is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy; or photographs or films the intimate areas of another person without that person's knowledge and under circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether in a public or private location.
A "place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy" means a location where a reasonable person would believe that he or she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that his or her undressing was being photographed or filmed by another; or a place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance.
Voyeurism is a Class C felony. If a person is convicted of voyeurism, the court may order the destruction of any photograph, motion picture film, digital image, videotape, or any other recording of an image that was made by the person in violation of this section.
No matter the crime or the circumstances, every defendant has a right to representation by a qualified attorney. If you have been arrested and face criminal charges, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.