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I think I'll head to Nordstrom tonight

SEATTLE, Washington - Prettier than Napoleon informs us of an interesting take on indecent exposure arrived at by the South Dakota Supreme Court.

First, some of the prurient details:

  • The name of the exposer in question is "Michael James Plenty Horse".
  • He had removed the high school band outfit from the mannequin with which he was having simulated intercourse.
  • He had a "wad of paper" in his hand.
  • The case was "Considered on Briefs" - there's a joke there, I think.

Mr Plenty Horse was convicted of indecent exposure because of the above incident, which happened in a public cultural center that did not have any other patrons in the area at the time of the intercourse.

The Supreme Court let him off the hook by focusing on the word intent in the relevant statute, which reads:

A person commits the crime of indecent exposure if, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, the person exposes his or her genitals in a public place under circumstances in which that person knows that person's conduct is likely to annoy, offend, or alarm another person.

Per the court, an "intent" crime requires the prosecution to prove intent - in this case, intent to sexually gratify himself or others by exposing his genitals in public. There's no doubt that Mr Plenty Horse exposed himself, but since his intent appeared to be to gratify himself through contact with the mannequin, and not through sheer exhibitionist joy, that his act did not fall within the purview of indecent exposure.


Christine said...

Who doesn't have a secret something they want to try out at Nordstrom? Typically it's not alone (no offense to Ms. Mannequin) but to each his own. I think he was a poor planner for getting caught but I respect him for pulling off the loophole. ;-)