Indecent exposure is a criminal sex offense in Tennessee that carries a range of consequences. While the penalties for an incident exposure charge may seem less severe than for other Tennessee sex crimes, a conviction may affect your reputation, and even count towards sex offender status or registration with subsequent convictions. Nashville sex crime lawyer Bernie McEvoy has worked with many people accused of indecent exposure and other sex offenses in Davidson and Williamson Counties, and can provide the guidance you need to fight the charges.Indecent Exposure in Tennessee
Indecent exposure is a crime relating to offensive sexual acts carried out with the intent that others may see. Indecent exposure may be committed on public property or, in certain circumstances, in the defendant’s own home. Tennessee law provides multiple situations that constitute indecent exposure, two of which involve a child. The first situation does not involve a particular victim. It requires that the defendant intentionally expose their genitals or buttocks to another person, or engage in sexual contact or sexual penetration, with the reasonable expectation that the acts will be viewed by another person. The sexual acts must be either offensive to an ordinary viewer, or performed for the defendant’s sexual gratification. The offense must take place in a public place, on the private property of another person, or where the activity may be seen from the private property of another person.
The other forms of indecent exposure occur in the presence of a child. Indecent exposure is committed when an adult knowingly invites, entices, or fraudulently induces another person’s child into their home, and intentionally masturbates or exposes their genitals or private parts in the presence of the child for their own sexual arousal or gratification. Indecent exposure is also committed if the adult, while in their home and in the intended presence of any child, intentionally masturbates or exposes their genitals or other private parts for sexual arousal or gratification. In these situations, the defendant must eighteen years or older, and the child must be under thirteen years old.Penalties
Indecent exposure is generally a class B misdemeanor for a first-time offense. However, circumstances that involve children may elevate the offense to a more serious charge. If the defendant is an adult aged eighteen or older and the victim is under thirteen years of age, indecent exposure is a Class A misdemeanor. A third conviction for indecent exposure may also qualify the defendant as a sexual offender under Tennessee law, which requires additional registration and reporting obligations.
Indecent expose may lead to a felony charge if the defendant is eighteen years of age or older and the victim is under thirteen years of age, and the offense includes certain aggravated factors. It is a class E felony if the defendant has two or more prior convictions for indecent exposure or public indecency, or is a registered sexual offender, or if the offense occurs on the property of any school, day care center, or other child care facility at a time when children are likely to be present.Defenses
Defending an indecent exposure charge will depend on the specific facts of the case, and a seasoned criminal defense attorney can help you assert the appropriate arguments for your situation. One defense provided in the statute concerns accusations of an adult exposing themselves to any child in their home. A person cannot be charged for these allegations if they are solely based on the uncorroborated witness testimony of someone related to the accused, such as a former or current spouse, roommate, dating partner, and others listed in the statute.Contact a Nashville Lawyer for an Indecent Exposure Charge
If you have been accused of indecent exposure or any other sex crime, Nashville attorney Bernie McEvoy can help you defend against the charges. He can represent people located in Franklin, Nashville, and other places in Davidson and Williamson Counties. Request a consultation by calling (615) 255-9595 during business hours or (615) 804-8779 after hours, or by contacting us online.