Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Is Exposing Yourself to Blind People Considered Indecent Exposure?

Remember that old saying, “If a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is around, has anyone actually seen its penis?”

NBC News in Philadelphia reports:
A man allegedly exposed himself to a woman inside an association for the blind last week.
On Tuesday morning, the Bucks County Courier Times reported that a woman says an unidentified man exposed himself to her inside the book store of the Bucks County Association for the Blind’s offices at 400 Freedom Drive in Newtown, Pa.  The man, described as a 5-foot-10 skinny black man between 35 to 45 years old who was wearing a black track suit, got away, the Times reported.*

The question for the day is awesome, and the question is: “In Kentucky, if you expose yourself to a blind person, does that count as indecent exposure?”  Since we are going to assume that the above described man is innocent, we will create a new fictional scenario.  In our new scenario, a black man of average height, wearing average clothing and being between age 18 and 50, walks into the school for the blind on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville.  He knows it is the school for the blind, and he believes everyone in the school to be blind.  He promptly exposes himself.  Has the man committed “indecent exposure?”  In Kentucky, KRS 510.148 “covers” indecent exposure in the first degree.**  The law states:

 (1) A person is guilty of indecent exposure in the first degree when he intentionally exposes his genitals under circumstances in which he knows or should know that his conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to a person under the age of eighteen (18) years.
(2) Indecent exposure in the first degree is a:
(a) Class B misdemeanor for the first offense;
(b) Class A misdemeanor for the second offense, if it was committed within three (3) years of the first conviction;
(c) Class D felony for the third offense, if it was committed within three (3) years of the second conviction; and
(d) Class D felony for any subsequent offense, if it was committed within three
(3) years of the prior conviction. [boldness added for emphasis]

Without going to much into Indecent Exposure in the second degree, just understand that it contains the same “affront and alarm” type requirement, but with a victim OVER 18 years old.  It is a class B misdemeanor (which kinda surprises me.  I would think it would be a more serious crime, wouldn’t it?).

So the answer to today’s question is, surprisingly, no.  If you expose yourself to a blind person in Kentucky and you believe them to be blind, you probably don’t meet the requirement of knowledge that your conduct would cause affront or alarm.  After all, if you believe they aren’t witnessing the…um…event, then you couldn’t possibly have the knowledge that it would alarm said blind victim (not in the legal sense of “victim”).

So…there you go.  Not sure if this post is going to help you sleep at night or anything.  But that’s the law.

Please be advised that neither I, nor any other lawyer I know, condones exposing yourself to anyone of any age, regardless of their disability.  Also, depending on your conduct, you may be violating a slew of other laws at the time of said exposure.

Thank you for your time.

Simms & Reed, PLLC.

Results.  As fast as the law will allow.

*Jeez, talk about helping the police racially profile.  You can’t give a more specific description???  Come on.  Hair?  Facial Hair?  Glasses?  Light or dark skin tone?  Shoes?

**Ba-Domp, Ching!

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