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Indecent Exposure is a Sex Crime

Indecent Exposure is a Sex Crime and Should be Taken Seriously

Unless you haven't been paying attention to the news over the last four years or so, you've seen a marked increase in the number of indecent exposure arrests. A brief scroll through the pages of Pennlive highlights this:

Ronald L. Woolf Sr., 54, is charged with indecent exposure, open lewdness, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor. ...

May 19, 2010 ... A Duncannon man who police said was sitting with no pants on in a van yesterday in the parking lot of the Kohl's store on Jonestown Road, ...

Jun 14, 2010 ... A 44-year-old Halifax man was charged with indecent exposure Sunday.

Jun 15, 2010 ... Witnesses told police the kayaker had exposed himself.

Aug 31, 2007 ... A Wilson man has been charged with indecent exposure and other offenses in connection with an Aug. 24 incident in Pen Argyl.

Feb 19, 2009 ... A Susquehanna Township police corporal resigned last week after being accused of indecent exposure and open lewdness.

Nov 3, 2009 ... A pair of out-of-state men are facing charges of indecent exposure in unrelated weekend incidents in Swatara Township.

What is Indecent Exposure?

The PA Crimes Code defines the offense in section 3127 as follows:

A person commits indecent exposure if that person exposes his or her genitals in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons under circumstances in which he or she knows or should know that this conduct is likely to offend, affront or alarm.

Why is it becoming so prevalent?

There may be a number of ways to respond. However, the best way to answer this is to look at who are those to commit this offense.

1) One time offenders who are likely to never re-offend (ie: the miscreant who urinates in public and gets caught);

2) Those who get aroused and pleasured through public displays (they may also be engaged in sex acts, such as masturbation);

3) Those who have more deep-seated issues. They have engaged public displays of sexual behavior then taken it to a higher level; such as rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse of children.