A story that just broke in the news is a peculiar one. It allegedly started when a man, Adam Smith, went to traffic court in Coweta County on March 14th. According to reports, he showed up late and proceeded to fall asleep on the front bench.
Smith, then, left court and allegedly flashed his genitals to two different women that day. The stories from both women are very similar.
First, at 11:55am, Smith allegedly walked toward a woman sitting in a nail salon and exposed himself. Hours later, he approached another woman and did the same thing.
Smith's description given by both women matched up with video footage, and he was arrested during a different traffic stop last week for two counts of public indecency.
What is public indecency in Georgia?
Georgia law defines public indecency in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-6-8 as:
A person commits the offense of public indecency when he or she performs any of the following four acts in a public place:
- An act of sexual intercourse;
- A lewd exposure of the sexual organs;
- A lewd appearance in a state of partial or complete nudity; or
- A lewd caress or indecent fondling of the body of another person.
What is the penalty for public indecency?
A first and second conviction for public indecency is considered a misdemeanor conviction. This means that the punishment can include up to 12 months in jail, a fine up to $1,000, or both.
However, a third conviction is considered a felony conviction. The punishment can include between one and five years of imprisonment. Depending on the facts of the case as well as which part of statute he or she violated, the convicted person may have to register as a Sex Offender in Georgia. A judge can order a convicted person to register as Sex Offender while on probation - even if it's not otherwise required by the law.
Are there defenses to public indecency?
There are defenses that will not excuse public indecency. First, the excuse that you didn't think anyone would see you. If the exposure occurred somewhere that a person could have reasonably expected someone to see them, then it will not hold up. Second, the excuse that you were in a private residence. This is a tricky one. Georgia Courts have found that even though the area where the exposure occurred is private, if the accused person could have been seen or was likely to be seen, it will not hold up.