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Naked Stroll Lands Oklahoma City Man in Jail

04-Jul-2014

A woman driving down the 300 block of Blackwelder in Oklahoma City Wednesday night was surprised to see a naked man bouncing a ball against the wall of a business. The woman took out her cell phone, recorded the incident, and notified police. The man, upon seeing the woman's cell phone, put on shorts. However, the video provided police enough information to detain Donald Edward Kelly, 56, for public indecency.

Upon investigation, officers also discovered that Kelly was wanted on a warrant out of Logan County for failure to appear in court regarding a conviction for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

A homeless man, Kelly has a number of prior convictions dating back to 1989 across Oklahoma, including Garfield County, Logan County, and Oklahoma County. Past crimes include carrying a concealed weapon, larceny of an automobile, unauthorized use of a vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm, leaving the scene of an accident involving damage, driving without a license, second degree burglary, and escape from a penitentiary.

Kelly was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail early Thursday morning, where he remains as of this writing.

Often, people are confused by the difference between public indecency and indecent exposure. These two crimes do share some commonalities--in general, the exposure of one's body, but their are some significant differences that indicate whether the offense will be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony sex crime.

Public indecency is defined in 21 O.S. 22 under "Acts Resulting in Gross Injury." This statute reads, "Every person who willfully and wrongfully commits any act which grossly injures the person or property of another, or which grossly disturbs the public peace or health, or which openly outrages public decency, including but not limited to urination in a public place, and is injurious to public morals, although no punishment is expressly prescribed therefor by this code, is guilty of a misdemeanor." As a misdemeanor, outraging public decency carries a maximum penalty of one year in county jail.

Indecent exposure, on the other hand, is a felony sex offense. It is covered in 21 O.S. 1021, the section of Oklahoma criminal law that describes the state's obscenity and child pornography laws.

The indecent exposure statute reads in part as follows:

"Every person who willfully and knowingly . . . [l]ewdly exposes his or her person or genitals in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby; provided, however, for purposes of this section, a person alleged to have committed an act of public urination shall be prosecuted pursuant to Section 22 of this title unless such act was accompanied with another act that violates paragraphs 2 through 4 of this subsection and shall not be subject to registration under the Sex Offenders Registration Act; . . . shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a felony and shall be punished by the imposition of a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00) or by imprisonment for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ten (10) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment."

While some people claim that public urination is a sex crime, state law explicitly states that public urination is an act of public indecency, and not an act of indecent exposure. Some listed on the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry may claim that they required to be registered sex offenders as a result of a public urination arrest, but an indecent exposure conviction requires intentional, lewd display of one's genitals or private parts--not simply getting caught without a bathroom.

Learn more about what Oklahoma law means by "lewd and lascivious" here.



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