Tampa Bay Streaker Incident : Indecent Exposure is Criminal Behavior
Tampa Bay residents and sports-lovers know that the Buccaneers won their first Super Bowl since 2003 last Sunday. They expected a great game, and the players delivered. Unfortunately, an unrelenting and shameless fan also took in the celebration but forgot his clothes in the process. The Tampa Bay Streaker was arrested in a pink thong bodysuit after rushing the field in the 4th quarter of the game. Police ultimately apprehended the suspect and charged him with trespassing. This was not the first occurrence of streaking at a sports event or on national television. Had the streaker exposed genitalia or ran out on the field nude, he could have also been charged with indecent exposure.
What is Indecent Exposure?
Florida Statute 800.03 defines indecent exposure as exposing or exhibiting the sexual organs in plain view of another person, on public or private premises, or to be naked in public in a vulgar or indecent manner. Fla. Stat. § 800.03 (2019). Indecent exposure is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or one thousand dollars in fines. A second or additional violation of the statute is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in jail and additional fines not to exceed five thousand dollars. Courts have pontificated on the definition of vulgar, lewd or lascivious. This is because mere nudity does not rise to the level of indecent exposure. The act must be intentional, for a lewd purpose (such as to offend or for arousal), and the defendant must be aware they are exposing themselves to another person without that person’s consent.
Defenses & Potential Repercussions
If a defendant is charged and subsequently convicted with any sex crime, including indecent exposure, they could also be required to register as a sex offender with the State of Florida. If the defendant exposed sexual organs to a minor or on school grounds they almost certainly have to register with the sex offender registry. Registration is permanent and would prevent the defendant from applying for multiple job and career opportunities and may also inhibit housing options. The defendant would likely face additional charges or enhanced penalties of up to fifteen years in prison as well.
It’s possible that exposure occurred accidentally or the defendant did not have the specific intent to expose themselves in a lewd or lascivious manner. Or, the defendant was in a private place and did not know their body was in plain view. If this is the case, the defense would need to present evidence to refute the prosecution’s charges. If the act was unintentional, the defendant was in their own home, or the defendant was intoxicated at the time of the incident, the court may weigh mitigating factors and dismiss charges or reduce sentencing. Your defense will be tailored to the unique circumstances of your case, but you should not delay in retaining counsel.
Contact Scriven Law, P.A. for Guidance
If you or someone you know were recently charged with a sex crime such as indecent exposure, contact Tampa sex crimes attorney Bryant Scriven for assistance. As a former Florida prosecutor, Attorney Scriven maintains a unique perspective and thorough understanding of the criminal justice process. If retained, Mr. Scriven will fight to ensure you are treated fairly, that all the facts are known and that all potential defenses are exhausted. Any crime can be damning for the defendant, but sex crimes are especially stigmatizing. Don’t let one mistake ruin your life. Contact Attorney Scriven today for a free consultation.