Can you be indecently exposed in your own home?

Apparently, the story of a Springfield, VA (my hometown!) man so charged gained "international attention" last week, but missed my attention till 5 minutes ago:

The way Eric Williamson tells it, he might have been making coffee or
flipping eggs or taking a picture down from the wall when a woman and
her 7-year-old son walked by his Springfield house and saw him, through
the window, naked. 

He says he never saw them and never knew they'd seen him — until the police showed up.

In a case that gained international attention last week, hitting a
nerve for anyone who has ever dashed from the bedroom to the laundry
room in the buff, Williamson was charged with indecent exposure.

There are conflicting accounts of what happened Monday morning, but
everyone agrees on this: The 29-year-old was naked and home alone, and
he could face up to a year in jail.

I actually know the neighborhood where it happened– I had lots of friends right around there.  Anyway, in addition to being a matter of he said, she said, there's quite a number of interesting legal issues at stake.  The crux:

Washington area lawyers say the case, like others before it, will
probably boil down to a crucial question: Did Williamson intend to be
seen? Virginia law defines indecent exposure as the intentionally
obscene display of private parts in a public place or "any place where
others are present."

Today, the Post hosted an interesting chat with an attorney to really bore into the legal issues.   Now, that I think about it, I better be a little more careful when I dash through the house looking for some clean boxers.  Or better, yet, just yell for Kim to go find me some.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: