What is indecent exposure?

What is indecent exposure?

Public nudity can be a crime in Massachusetts, usually punished under the Indecent Exposure statute, M.G.L. c. 272, § 53. Indecent Exposure is the intentional exposure of a person’s genitals to another in an offensive manner.

This post will answer some frequently asked questions about indecent exposure.

What does the government have to show to prove someone guilty of indecent exposure?

In order to prove a defendant GUILTY of indecent exposure, the Commonwealth must prove ALL three of the following elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the defendant exposed his or her genitals to ONE OR MORE persons
  2. That the defendant did so intentionally
  3. The conduct offended one or more persons

Note that the offense does NOT need to be in a public place.

Does the location of the indecent exposure matter?

YES, the location of the exposure matters in determining whether the defendant committed the offense of indecent exposure.

Moreover, the misdemeanor is applicable only to the genitalia, and NOT to exposure of the genital area, pubic hair, buttocks, or female breasts.

By contrast the felony offense of “open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior” includes the intentional exposure of genitalia, buttocks, or female breasts, but has the additional element of actual alarm or shock.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH THIS CRIME, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.

CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.

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