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Lawmakers considering increased penalties for indecent exposure aimed at minors

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2023 | criminal defense |

Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase the penalties for those convicted of indecent exposure when the target is a child. Supporters say the crime demands more substantial penalties when witnessed by a juvenile.

St. Mary’s County legislator, Democrat Brian Crosby, told the Capital News Service (CNS) that he drafted the bill to address repeated incidents of indecent exposure cases in his county involving young girls.

There have been 189 reported indecent exposures with 28 juvenile victims since 2013, according to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s office, according to reporting by CNS.

Resort town Ocean City, Maryland has also had its share of indecent exposure incidents. Last fall, two women from upstate New York were arrested in Ocean City for indecent exposure, after one was seen swimming naked in a private pool and the other repeatedly flashed her private area to officers.

In another instance, a Cecil County prosecutor was charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. The charges stemmed from his arrest in Ocean City in June. Police said officers responded to a report of a nude man on a balcony at an Ocean City Hotel.

Indecent exposure penalties

The penalties for indecent exposure under Maryland law, regardless of who witnesses the crime, include:

  • Up to three years of jail time and
  • A fine up to $1,000 and
  • Possible registration as a sex offender

The bill under consideration by the legislature would increase sanctions for those who intentionally expose themselves to a minor to imprisonment up to five years and a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

Impact on security clearances

The state legislator who introduced the bill said there is an added reason to increase the penalty if a minor is involved. He said beefing up the penalties will lead to a revoked security clearance for individuals convicted of the crime of exposing themselves to a minor. The current penalties do not trigger an investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The legislator said in one instance, even though the convicted individual was given a maximum sentence, the punishment wasn’t enough to trigger an investigation to remove the individual’s security clearance. The penalties being proposed would cause an internal investigation and the loss of the security clearance.

Bill support

The bill, “Indecent Exposure Within the Sight of a Minor,” reportedly has bipartisan support. However, the public defender’s office has opposed the proposal, reportedly explaining that there is no additional harm when a minor is involved.

If you are facing charges over indecent exposure, an Ocean City indecent exposure lawyer can help. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience with Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh indecent exposure matters.

Maronick Law LLC is open during the pandemic and continues to meet your legal needs. We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact the law office at 410-881-4022 or via our website for a free consultation.





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