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DirtyBirdOH

Date Posted:02/20/2017 08:01:46

Recently out for a run wearing cheeky shorts, not even a thong, in an unincorporated area of Ohio that does not have any specific laws concerning public indecency when Sheriff's deputies arrested me because someone had called in a complaint that my bare bottom, or buttocks, was exposed.  I was charged under the state statute for public indecency, the same statute that allows one to wear thongs or be topless.  Am I just poorly informed regarding the law or should I have not been arrested for this?  I had thought about finally going to one of the beaches where people wear thongs this summer; however, after this incident I am worried that it may be a bad idea.
Maxtlatl #1

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/20/2017 11:26:31

Unless there is more to this, you have been falsely arrested. (For example, I assume your junk was not flopping out.) Ohio's public indecency law prohibits the exposure of "private parts". That means genitals, and only genitals. There are two main court rulings to that effect: State v. Parenteau,

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2268151885589404351

and State v. Jetter,

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=9262818554987899905

While both deal with exposed female breasts, they also make it clear that buttocks are not "private parts".

What did the citation say?

Unfortunately, you'll probably need a lawyer to get it straightened out.
Mary0826 #2

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/20/2017 11:43:44

 Can you please tell us what county or part of the state this happened in?  We need to let people on this website know if a particular area is cracking down on minimal but apparently legal clothing.  As far as I know, the only county that has a specific, county wide ban on thongs and exposed buttocks is Greene County near Dayton.  It seems ironic to me that this county would create such a rule considering it has many Universities and several state parks including part of Ceaser's Creek park in it.  As far as I know, even if you are in the Greene County part of Ceaser's Creek State park, you can not be arrested for the county law since the part is a state asset.  If I am wrong, maybe Mr. MAXTLATL will correct the record for us all.

Maxtlatl #3

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/20/2017 11:52:17

As far as I know, counties in Ohio do not have the power (as per the Ohio Constitution and Ohio Statutes) to make their own public indecency ordinances. In Greene County, my understanding is that only the park district has made a thong rule. (That said, I have skated part of their bike path wearing only a thong . . . and skates.) It's not clear to me whether park districts can make a thong rule (Greene County notwithstanding), but it's never been challenged in court.
DirtyBirdOH #4

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/21/2017 02:53:11

This was in Delaware County.  The state statute for public indecency is what I was charged with and the complaint says "... exposed his private parts known as his bare rear end or buttocks ...".  Cheeks were certainly hanging out the bottom of the shorts but genitals were completely covered.
Thank you Maxlatl for the case information, I thought I was clear concerning the law and what was or was not considered to be private parts.  I have secured legal council and am hopeful they will be able to get the obviously erroneous charge dropped. 
Matt37 #5

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/21/2017 05:37:01

It's a shame you won't be able to sue them for false arrest, given that the law clearly states it covers genitals only.
ithongit #6

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/21/2017 07:06:20

First a disclosure -- I am not an attorney, nor fully aware of laws in Ohio or elsewhere.  I am writing below with what I think are common-sense suggestions you might want to consider.  Please take this as such.

Try to remember every detail about what happened, then write it down.  Even items that seem now like they might be trivial can become important if you go to trial.  Especially important are witness information -- even if you don't know who they are, include descriptions to keep them fresh in your mind.  If one of these people shows up an a court proceeding months from now, you can have your attorney dispute their testimony if you see obvious flaws.

Your attorney should file some type of a request to the judge to dismiss the case, based on the exact wordings of the state law and perhaps citing some of the cases that were also decided by this exact wording.  Hopefully, either the judge will throw the case out and dismiss it, or that Prosecutor will see that his case is weak and likely to not make it thorough the legal process, and request that it be withdrawn.

If this does not work and a real trial is unavoidable, it is important to be sure the attorney you use knows the state laws and how they can be applied (and how to argue your case) back and forth.  An attorney who works 80% of the time on tax law cases, or murder cases may not be your best bet for example.  There is nothing wrong with changing attorneys -- it is done all the time.  Be sure if attorneys are changed that the court is made aware of the change in a timely manner so they can address paperwork to the right person.  A good attorney will do this paperwork.  You do not have to 'release' the old attorney unless you want to, but you may have to pay for two attorneys since the court will expect all your legal representation to be involved in the case.  If you go to court, you may have the right to a jury trial.  This decision is very important.  Many people think they will get a better decision from 'normal' people.  However, you will find that many juries are made up of older retired people and poorer people who don't have other things going that can keep them off jury duty.   Juries might be swayed by talk of 'inappropriate' dress while a judge is more likely to decide on the legalities of the case.  Again your attorney can discuss this with you.  Go to the courthouse as a visitor and watch other proceedings.  You probably won't find another indecent exposure trial, but you can see how cases are handled and hopefully get into a courtroom where the judge assigned to your case is working.  This will give you insights into if he or she likes a bit of humor or is strictly by the book.  It will also let you see how he or she reacts when one of the attorneys tries to do something wrong.  Even in a jury trial, the judge makes decisions all the time about what can and can not be entered in as evidence, who can witness the case as a visitor, and of course making little rulings on anything that is objected too by one of the attorneys.

You need to know what the legal penalties are for this in your area.  You need to know if the court or prosecutor might agree to a plea bargain, and what it would entail.  You need to realize that your case will most likely be made public, and things like indecent exposure cases are popular fill material on local news broadcasts, and your name may be dragged through the mud -- even if you are not convicted.  Ask your attorney if you can have the court withhold your name until the case is resolved.  If things do not go your way, think about what type of a plea bargain you might be willing to live with.  Yes, you can take your case up through appeals, but you will also expose yourself to more publicity.  From what I am learning many people plea bargain simply to keep their names out of the spotlight.  While you mention that you want to wear thongs, I would suggest you become a model, citizen and not do anything that could produce issues until your case is resolved.  A judge might rule against you if things are very close if evidence is reported that you are thonging regularly.  This might not be illegal, but the judge might think you are always "pushing the limit" if you are seen or worse yet ticketed or arrested for any other thing.

Traci
Sybok #7

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/22/2017 02:38:06

 I'm appalled! This shouldn't even be an issue.
Maxtlatl #8

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/22/2017 02:51:29

This really should be open and shut, based on the citation (and my semi-informed opinion). With the words in the citation you don't even really need witnesses; the cop is locked into his statement now.

What ought to happen is that you and your lawyer will show up at your arraignment (that's the date/time written on the citation). Your lawyer will talk to the prosecuting attorney in advance, point out the case law, and the prosecutor will immediately drop the case. It should not even go before the court (that is, the judge). Again, that is what ought to happen.

Or maybe you'll plead "not guilty" (arraignments are when you make your plea). And then the prosecutor drops the case. There really is nothing more that makes any sense.

If it goes beyond that, let us know and I can put you in touch with the Naturist Action Committee.

Oh, and if you are pissed enough, file a complaint with the cop's office/superiors for harassment and not knowing the law.
DirtyBirdOH #9

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/22/2017 05:41:01

My arraignment has been completed, I was not required to attend since this county allows the attorney to file the not-guilty plea without my needing to attend the arraignment.  My attorney has filed a motion for discovery to obtain all the paperwork, including the actual complaint filed by the witness, and have scheduled a meeting in a couple of weeks to give them time to receive all of the information and we can discuss how to proceed.  It would be my hope that as mentioned it should be fairly open and shut case of falsely being arrested due to the deputies not knowing the law.  After all, the same statute that I was arrested under is the same one that governs the local state beach where topless women and/or men and women in thongs can be seen on a regular basis.  The only difference is that the park rangers are trained better regarding this law and they see it often.  I have worn the same shorts on many other occasions and never even had anyone say anything to me, let alone actually call the police and file a complaint.
I am certainly angry enough to file a complaint with the Sheriff's department if this does get dismissed as expected.  If for no other reason but to ensure the deputies are all taught what is actually considered public indecency so nobody else, including myself, are arrested incorrectly.
ohiothonger #10

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/22/2017 07:15:02

 When I was younger, I lived for a while in Waldo Ohio, that is just over the county line north of Delaware County in Ohio.  I was working in Marion, but Waldo was a cheap (and sort of run down) small-town to live in.  Delaware County was always perceived as even more conservative than Marion County.  Delaware has a couple of church-run colleges and I think this has helped dictate the climate of the city and county.  I think in general, they really don't want thongs and topfreedom at the Alum Creek and Delaware Lake state parks, just like Greene and Warren counties does not want them at Ceaser's Creek.  But they can't do anything to people inside the parks.  I don't know how many State Parks there are, or how many have swimming beaches, pools, or boating where people might wear thongs and go topfree, but I imagine most of the residents in the area of the parks probably do not approve of the skimpier swimwear and topfree beach use that we enjoy.  MAXTLATL has indicated in other posts that you can wear a thong and women can go topfree in any Ohio State Park -- even if they don't have swimming facilities.

Training of the sheriff deputies is an ongoing thing.  It took years for the Ohio State Parks to start training their law enforcement on the rights of thongers and topless women.  I don't know if they even mentioned it in the old days, and each ranger would interpret the law his own way.  The park management only corrected the ranger if they made a bad decision.  Now, every Ranger who works in a park with a beach, pool, or otherwise might attract thongers goes through 'special' training on what is and what is not allowed. 

There were attempts way back -- I think they were around 1995 to 2000 to make thongs illegal in the state parks.  If I remember right, it even passed the Ohio House, but did not pass the Senate.  Without both houses passing the law and the governor signing it, it is not actually a law and is unenforceable.  What happened though is that newspapers and TV said stuff like "Ohio House passed anti thong law" and explaining that this would make thonging illegal.  They didn't mention that the Ohio Senate and governor would have to concur before the law was enforceable.  So for years, people would go to the beach and insist that thongs were illegal and even some Rangers took this attitude.  Now the park rangers might even tell you they personally don't like thongs (or topfree beach use), but they will also tell you that your are legal as long as your genitals are covered adequately. 

You are right that the deputy should have been trained better.  I think there is another path your case might use, and that is are women getting away wearing similarly cut shorts in the same type areas in the county without getting arrested.  This would be a sexual discrimination issue.  Photographic evidence would certainly help you if you took this as an issue.  The state does not differentiate between exposure of the buttock of a man and women.  They don't address this at all.  So if you were singled out and other people (especially women) were getting away with similar outfits, you might have a case.  If you could prove you were discriminated against by the deputy, you might even be able to seek damages in the form of a cash settlement.

I think ITHONGIT is correct that you should keep a low-profile until after this is resolved.  I also think that MAXTLATL is probably the closest thing to an expert on thong law in Ohio, having even given presentations to the legislature when they were considering the anti-thong laws.  He should be considered your best advisor on this message board do to his knowledge and commitment over the years for thonging in Ohio.  He also knows quite a bit about other state laws which might affect thongers.
DirtyBirdOH #11

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/22/2017 07:51:32

Yes, I definitely plan on keeping a low profile regarding what I wear until this thing has been resolved.  I have done extensive research, both before and after this incident, and based on the wording of the law and cases I had seen where it specified that the buttocks were not considered to be private parts I never thought for a second that I would be arrested for wearing the shorts I had on.  When I originally saw the deputy at the park I did not really think about what he was there for until it looked like he was following me, then I spotted another deputy on the opposite side of me.  I thought they would just stop me and talk, until they ordered me to stop, get on the ground, and handcuffed me.  You can imagine my confusion.  If it were not for the monetary, or possible embarrassment of being arrested, I really would not care about the entire ordeal as long as the charges are eventually dropped and the case dismissed.
Maxtlatl #12

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/23/2017 02:28:16

You were forced to the ground and handcuffed? Yowza! You really need to also talk to your attorney about more than just complaining and consider actually filing a false arrest lawsuit. What happened after that? Did they just issue a summons, or were you taken to the police station? The more (and longer) they deprived you of your freedom the better your chance of collecting.

Do you know if your attorney discussed this with the Prosecutor? Because it really should have been dropped immediately. While it is standard to get the witness complaint (i.e., demand discovery), etc., the Prosecutor oughtn't need it to determine that the summons does not state a crime. Presumably your attorney, once he gets all the paperwork, and if the Prosecutor refuses to do so on his own, will file a motion to dismiss the case for failure to state a crime. That it has gotten me this far worries me somewhat, making me wonder if the Prosecutor is going to try to do something to make a case anyways.

There is a case from the mid-2000s in which Bowling Green got a topless case to stick: they charged the woman with disorderly conduct. You can read the Appeals Court upholding the conviction here:

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/6/2007/2007-Ohio-5748.pdf

Unfortunately, Lorien Bourne did not involved NAC until it was too late.

What worries me is wondering of the Prosecutor, rather than do the right thing and admit defeat might re-charge you with disorderly conduct (which, BTW, is a minor misdemeanor and not a 4th degree misdemeanor). In fact, you should be ready for the Prosecutor offering you a plea deal for disorderly conduct, which would include making you pay all court costs and a fine. You want to think about that well in advance and what you might want to do in that regard. Of course, if you take a plea deal (which IS a conviction), you cannot then sue them for false arrest. Your attorney can explain all this, but you may have to ask him/her. Don't get pressured into a plea deal (which can happen when you are sitting there after it is presented to you). Make sure you ask how long you have to make up your mind. Also be aware that Prosecutors will not offer their best deal at first, so even if they say you have to make up your mind immediately, I've seen instances when they offer a better deal right before trial.

Going back to Lorien Bourne, the applying disorderly conduct to being topfree was completely bogus, but she had weak representation (i.e., the attorney really didn't know how to defend properly) and the courts were not properly briefed. NAC only found out about it and got involved when it was being appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, which does not have to take such cases and has discretion over whether to take it. They only take a few and you have to convince them that something is an important case worth their while.

NAC filed a brief with the Ohio Supreme Court encouraging them to take the case. If you go here:

https://supremecourt.ohio.gov/clerk/ecms/#/caseinfo/2007/2284

you can click on that NAC brief to see what it says. (PS. I ghostwrote the brief, and then we got an attorney to file it.) It not only gives the legislative history of the attempts to make topless illegal, but also explains why disorderly conduct subverts the language of the disorderly statute. This should also be useful to your attorney, just to know about if nothing else.

Let me say that Traci has good advice (in addition to a good overall discussion): keep a low profile. Also be aware that, if convicted of public indecency, while you don't have to register as a registered sexual offender, you would become ineligible for certain jobs (like teacher--because the state assumes that you might also expose yourself to kids). Sucks, and allows the state to apply extra pressure for a plea deal. Again, you want to know this in advance so that you can integrate it into any decision you may have to make regarding a possible plea deal. But with any luck, either the Prosecutor or the Judge will dismiss the case (if they have integrity, that is--but there's the rub).
DirtyBirdOH #13

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/23/2017 06:31:08

Yeah, they ordered me to get on the ground face down, legs crossed, hands behind my back, and handcuffed me.  They said I was being detained and someone called in a complaint of a man in the park not wearing any pants.  I said that was crazy and that I have shorts on.  Then they put me in a cruiser and drove over to another area of the jogging path.  It was dark by now and it looked like they were speaking with someone on the path.  After 15 minutes or so one of the deputies came back and told me that I was being placed under arrest for public indecency because someone saw my butt.  I was then taken to the jail and booked, they never got me passed the booking area because I called my wife and she posted bond and came to pick me up.  From the initial handcuffing until I was released to my wife on bond was about 6.5 hours.
Maxtlatl #14

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/23/2017 12:48:12

Un-be-liev-a-ble.

They had the option of merely issuing you a summons and letting you go. This is encouraged for low-level misdemeanors. Must have been a slow day.

When this is over I hope you do sue for false arrest. They clearly did not have any sort of probable cause. (And in the meantime you have to put up with the whole court system crap.)
sailor250 #15

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/28/2017 02:05:01

 Make sure your attorney evaluates the eyesight of the witness.  No kidding- if someone has poor eyesight will the judge believe what they saw from a distance??  Witness credibility should be examined too.  If the witness has filed complaints about other people that's good for your case- they're fabricating things.
DirtyBirdOH #16

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/28/2017 04:35:35

I do not believe this really comes down to what they claim they saw but rather is what they saw illegal based on the law.  Everything I have read indicates the statute only makes exposure of the genitals illegal.  The Columbus Dispatch even ran an article several years back about some city pools banning thongs but noted that they are not illegal and that only the genitals need be covered.  The only things the pools can do if someone wears a thong is to ask them to cover up or leave.
sailor250 #17

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:02/28/2017 09:12:24

 He said the witness told police he wasn't wearing any pants and they saw his ass.  Well if they can't see the color of the hair of the judge then how can they tell if he was wearing pants.  shorts=legal  no pants=illegal
DirtyBirdOH #18

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/01/2017 04:01:02

The HE that you are referring to was ME, perhaps you did not read the thread completely.  There is far more to what is legal or illegal than just pants, no pants, shorts, no shorts, it is quite possible to expose oneself while appearing to be fully clothed.  As I stated, the law in Ohio requires exposing ones "private parts", which has repeatedly been defined as genitals, excluding the buttocks.  It should make no difference what someone is wearing as long as the genitals are covered, and the complaint that was the basis for my arrest only indicated the buttocks were exposed.  I will know more when I meet with my attorney next week, my hope is to have the case dismissed for lack of cause since what the witness claims to have seen is not even illegal.
sailor250 #19

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/05/2017 05:24:45

 Here are some cut off shorts that might violate some law somewhere! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4280954/Azealia-Banks-wears-revealing-denim-hotpants-PFW.html
DirtyBirdOH #20

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/20/2017 06:30:34

Only a week left before the next court date and my lawyer has yet to receive the discover documents he requested weeks ago.
JM_Runs #21

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/20/2017 07:32:27

DirtyBirdOH -  Sent you two Private Messages.
DirtyBirdOH #22

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/22/2017 02:43:29

So my lawyer received the documents and here are a couple of the more important portions:
"..the caller stated that she saw a man walking in the area that was naked from the waist down..."
"The male was still a long distance away from her at initial contact and she stated that she thought that the male was possibly wearing very short shorts with a sweatshirt."
"...at a closer distance she now was able to see that the male was not wearing any pants or underwear and his bare buttock was exposed..."
"...she stated that she did not see the males penis but did see the males bare buttock."
I was wearing very short shorts that showed a lot of my butt along with a thin hooded sweatshirt with a t-shirt over it.  I am sure the shirt covered up most of the shorts making it very easy to assume I had nothing on.  But once again, no genitals were seen so I am still confused on what law was broken.  There were a few others in the park during this same time but no way that I know who they were or even remember what they looked like, but none of them called the police.
Maxtlatl #23

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/22/2017 03:30:31

There should also be the police report. That ought to describe how you were dressed, including the sweatshirt/T-shirt.

I guessing that is the case, since the arrest only specified exposed buttocks. Again, the prosecutor (assuming any competence at all) should dismiss the charges. Has your lawyer talked to the prosecutor about the charges? What does he/she say the prosecutor is saying?

If the prosecutor is determined to see this through, be aware that you will be offered some sort of plea deal. Take that slow and easy, read the plea deal, and all of its conditions very carefully, and realize that it will cost you even more time and money if you accept. Also, be very aware that under the Ohio Revised Code a conviction (or even pleading guilty, which includes a nolo plea) for public indecency can affect all sorts of other things, like child custody, being a teacher, or volunteering. I mention this not to scare you but because, no matter how good your attorney, they may not be aware of these additional complications.

A more likely scenario from the prosecutor is to offer a plea deal to plead to disorderly conduct. It wasn't disorderly conduct, but the prosecutor will still apply a lot of pressure for that to be accepted--otherwise the prosecutor can't put that notch on his/her pistol, metaphorically. Again, you want to think about this in advance about whether you might want to do this. Also be sure to ask, on any plea deal, how long the deal is open for. (And even then, as trial-time approaches, prosecutors can get desperate and offer better plea deals right up until the end.)

Bottom line: this stuff is complicated and you cannot always even rely on a good attorney to carefully educate you on what's going on. They'll try to help you to the best of their abilities, but there a judgment calls all over the place, and hidden/unstated gotchas abound.
Maxtlatl #24

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/22/2017 03:37:05

Also, I just sent you a PM.
ohiothonger #25

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/24/2017 03:58:35

Maxlatl -- Would this be the type case were the defendant could demand a jury trial, and what are the pros and cons.  Would all jury members need to agree, or only a majority?  Question would apply to Ohio only, of course, unless principle applies to multiple states.
Maxtlatl #26

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/24/2017 01:07:48

You can always demand a jury trial (in fact, it's called a "jury demand"). Verdict must be unanimous.Pros/Cons? You just need one to hang the jury at which point it depends on whether the prosecutor decides to retry you. But since the complaint doesn't even state a crime (buttocks exposed) I don't see how this oughtn't be dismissed before any trial. (Also, I've sent you a PM.)
DirtyBirdOH #27

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/24/2017 01:32:42

@Maxlatl - I am in complete agreement that I believe it should be dismissed as not only was no crime committed but the complaint goes so far as to specifically state the witness did not see the genitals, which is the only thing that would make it a crime in the first place.  Even if I was not wearing anything besides the hoodie and t-shirt like the witness "thinks" it still would not be a crime as long as I was taking care to cover my genitals.  The law does not detail what someone can or cannot wear only that the private parts are covered, and in Ohio only the genitals are considered private parts.  This whole ordeal is causing me a lot of stress as well as money to defend myself for something that according to the law is not even illegal.
My lawyer said the judges in that court are hard on public indecency and almost always sentence about 10 days in jail for first time offenders, perhaps I would be better served by a jury trial if it goes that far?  I am hopeful that on Monday the prosecutor realizes that this should be dismissed and it all ends there.
thongalactic #28

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/24/2017 08:27:57

Well, what did the officers who wrote the police report say you were wearing? Can you post the whole complaint (redacted, of course)? Did the officers say something like: "I approached the suspect. He appeared not to be wearing any pants. Upon closer inspection, the suspect was wearing pants." 
DirtyBirdOH #29

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/24/2017 08:56:58

One deputy stated when he initially saw me it looked like I was only wearing a sweatshirt, but did say I was wearing shorts when they stopped me a few minutes later.  The other deputy only stated that I was wearing shorts when I was stopped, no mention of what he thought I was wearing prior to that.
Maxtlatl #30

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/24/2017 10:24:14

Ohio Jury Instructions 507.09:

4. PRIVATE PARTS: "Private parts" means genitals.

As soon as your attorney files his proposed Jury Instructions (using the language in the official instructions), that really ought to end the case. Unless the prosecutor is an ignorant dweeb incompetent jackass.
ithongit #31

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/25/2017 05:29:52

 Could it be that the prosecutor and/or police know that they don't have a case, and are simply continuing with this to make the defendant (and others who hear about it) think twice before wearing so little?  Also, does the defendant have any recourse for court costs, legal fees, etc. if the case is dropped?  Would such  compensation be different if the case actually goes to trial and the state looses?
Maxtlatl #32

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/25/2017 08:03:36

There's an old saying: don't ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence. But it's getting harder and harder to believe that that's the case here.

Maybe they are trying to punish DirtyBirdOH. The law is SO clear that it is hard for me to believe it has gone this far. (Maybe DirtyBirdOH can ask his attorney what he thinks.) Another possibility is simply laziness. It's no skin off the prosecutor's office's nose just not to make a decision yet. It is also possible that they are trying to make DirtyBirdOH sweat so as to take a disorderly conduct plea deal.

If they really are trying to make others think twice, maybe we ought to organize Ohio thongers to do a thonged/topless demonstration there. :-)

Regarding court costs, loser pays (official phrase: they are "taxed" court costs). Regarding legal fees, each side is stuck with its own. (BTW, in a jury trial, those costs include paying the jurors, so it can add up quickly. Another disincentive to go to a full jury trial. The system is stacked against the innocent up and down the line to try to force them into some sort of plea deal.) However, if you take a plea deal, that means you lost, so you get to pay court costs on top of your legal fees. And on top of that, then you cannot sue for false arrest or malicious prosecution. If you go to trial and are acquitted, then a false arrest lawsuit can try to make you whole in terms of your legal fees, and in recompense for being made to lie on the ground, handcuffed, and having to go through the whole booking procedure.

And oh yeah. The online docket has DirtyBirdOH arrested for masturbating in front of a child in his home (2907.09B1) instead of what they actually charged him with (2907.09A1). That's defamation and damaging to his reputation above and beyond what they charged him with. In a lawsuit he should be awarded for damages for that, too, due to their negligence/typo. But false arrest lawsuits are also all-to-often a crapshoot. These folks protect their own.

Anyways, a pre-trial hearing is Monday, where a lot of these issues (and others) should be gone over in front of the judge. If the judge is any good (and also not out to get DirtyBirdOH), one would hope he'd give the prosecutor a strong nudge to dismiss the case, with prejudice. The judge can't force the prosecutor to do so, but he can sure lean on him. Seriously, when the Ohio Jury Instructions say that "private parts" means "genitals", how could any prosecutor think they have a chance of a conviction?
JM_Runs #33

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/26/2017 06:02:28

At this stage the pivotal information is going to be the witness statements, from any bystanders and the police.  This may require deposing the police men, to see what they observed you to be wearing when they arrived. 

Exactly what they claim to have seen should be locked in as soon as possible. 

Once that is done one can set about applying the law to the facts. Until all the facts are on paper they can change their story to help with prosecution.

All alleged facts should to be locked in as soon as possible, or they have a tendency to expand, like the length of fish in a fishing story.

The discussion of a jury trial is interesting.
But what would be even more enlightening is the "standard jury instructions" for that statute in that state, if there is one. This will be the instructions on what findings of fact they must make and how the jury must interpret the law with regard to that charge.
DirtyBirdOH #34

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/28/2017 07:42:34

The prosecutor refuses to dismiss the case even though they have nothing to show that genitals were exposed and the witness complaint specifically mentions not seeing that.  My lawyer told me that the prosecutor for this area would rather take it to a trial and lose than dismiss a case.  There was no deal offered other than to plead guilty to the original charge.  Next step will be deciding whether to try this to a judge or a jury, which means more days waiting for an outcome and sleepless nights.  I am now also in contact with the NAC to see if they can offer any assistance in this case.
tiggerix #35

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/28/2017 09:05:39

Like all legal cases, it is really important that all facts are established and are put on the record.  Certainly getting that prior arrest corrected to the right code is but one step in this process.

Because there is prior history of a similar type, it is likely to be very hard to get through this case well.  Looking at the codes below, I would be concerned by B3 (for example ).

Others have given you good advice, and you need your lawyer to be 100% on the codes and case law.  I could see a type of judge leaning in with a prosecutor to get a conviction - why, because this sort of behaviour has to be stopped.  I wouldn't pin any hopes on a jury, because it is likely that they won't like it either.  

Based on what you have said, a good lawyer should be able to get this closed well and will be worth.paying good money for.  

As we all know, a girl with her butt out on display is a great poster to have on your wall.  A 45 y.o. guy.................... nah. 
  Ohio codes:

2907.09 PUBLIC INDECENCY 
2907.09A1 PUBLIC INDECENCY EXPOSURE 
2907.09A2 PUBLIC INDECENCY ENGAGE IN SEX ACT 
2907.09A3 PUBLIC INDECENCY APPEAR TO BE SEX ACT 
2907.09B1 PUBLIC INDECENCY ENGAGE IN MASTURBATION IN VIEW OF HOUSEHOLD 
2907.09B2 PUBLIC INDECENCY ENGAGE IN SEXUAL CONDUCT IN VIEW OF HOUSEHOLD 
2907.09B3 PUBLIC INDECENCY ENGAGE IN APPEARANCE OF SEXUAL CONDUCT 
2907.09B4 PUBLIC INDECENCY EXPOSE PRIVATE PARTS FOR AROUSAL OR TO LURE MINOR
DirtyBirdOH #36

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/28/2017 11:42:16

@tiggerix - The incorrect charge is from this case not a prior one.  The arrest warrant lists 2907.09(A)(1) as the charge where the online docket incorrectly shows 2907.09(B)(1)

The only things that should matter are the facts and the law.  A person should not be arrested and convicted of something just because someone does not approve of their behavior when no law is actually broken.  I see people do things all of the time that I do not approve of, as long as it does not violate the law there is nothing I can do about it.

The law for Ohio is pretty clear and so are the relevant facts.

2907.09 Public indecency.
(A) No person shall recklessly do any of the following, under circumstances in which the person's conduct is likely to be viewed by and affront others who are in the person's physical proximity and who are not members of the person's household:
(1) Expose the person's private partsOhio jury instructions state that private parts means genitals.

The witness specifically stated that she did not see my penis.  I do not see where anything else would be relevant in this case.
JM_Runs #37

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/29/2017 03:04:01

tiggerix #38

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/29/2017 08:59:39

@DirtyBirdOH - sorry, I have misread Maxtlatl post.  I don't disagree with you at all - just trying to highlight that legal cases do have a habit of coming up with unforeseen outcomes.  Concentrating too narrow on the specifics can stop you thinking about other possibilities.  I would be thinking of what else could they come up with.  If a prosecutor wants to take a case to trial he isn't so concerned about whether he is right, only if he thinks he can win.  And if he loses, he can perhaps still claim some kind of victory in moving to get the law changed.

I hope it goes well for you.


sailor250 #39

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/29/2017 10:13:18

 The trial I predict will not focus on the shorts or ass coverage  but were the shorts on the whole time. 
DirtyBirdOH #40

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/29/2017 01:26:20

The law only states what body part(s) need to be covered, it does not say how they are covered nor does it specify what type of clothing is required.  Even if they were able to convince a judge or jury that the shorts were off wouldn't they still need to prove that the genitals were actually exposed?  The law does clearly state that one must not recklessly expose the genitals.  If genitals were not seen then how could one have recklessly exposed them?  Perhaps I am just relying too much on facts and logic?
DirtyBirdOH #41

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/29/2017 01:40:38

Here we go, I just found a public indecency conviction that was overturned in Ohio by the court of appeals where a man at a tanning salon appeared to be completely naked but the witness only saw pubic hair before turning her head.

http://cases.justia.com/ohio/twelfth-district-court-of-appeals/2011-ohio-2102.pdf?ts=1396138055

Maxtlatl #42

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/29/2017 02:22:23

The prosecutor refuses to dismiss the case? I am just flaggergasted.

Here's a possible last-ditch idea to get it dismissed: your case is probably being handled by an assistant prosecutor and the City Prosecutor's office may have a policy of prosecuting *all* "sex" cases. For instance, the Delaware County prosecutor's diversion program says that they will not offer diversion for a case that "involve[s] sex in any way". And public indecency is almost always considered "sex" (even public urination!). I'm guessing the City Prosecutor's office has a similar (mindless) policy. But talking to the top of the chain might help.

[Side note: yes, I know that the above is confusing. DirtyBirdOH is being prosecuted by the Delaware City Prosecutor's Office, even though he was arrested outside the City of Delaware in an unincorporated area. But under Ohio law, felonies are prosecuted by the County Prosecutor, and misdemeanors are prosecuted by the City Prosecutor, no matter where in the county they supposedly occur.]

Anyways, maybe DirtyBirdOH's attorney can talk to the City Prosecutor (not just the assistant prosecutor), or even the City Attorney (who oversees the City Prosecutor) about how this was a false arrest.

DirtyBirdOH, your attorney should have a pretty good idea on how they plan on prosecuting the case. That's what discovery does. It seems to me that their theory of the case could be either of two things: 1) that your genitals *could* have been exposed but nobody saw them (there's that statement from the witness); or that 2) buttocks are genitals. (Huh!) Both seem pretty unbelievable, and losing propositions for the prosecutor.

However, if they have *any* evidence (or what they think is evidence) that DirtyBirdOH had his shorts off somewhere in there, they have to disclose that to his attorney. And there seems to be nothing. They are also not allowed to bring in a surprise witness who will suddenly claim they saw his genitals (i.e., getting a last-second lying witness). Besides that, they are already pretty-much locked in to their existing documentation: the witness who said she'd only seen part of his butt and not his genitals, and the arrest report, that says that DirtyBirdOH was arrested for exposing his buttocks.

I just don't see how any of that could lead to guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The only doubt here is about the prosecutor's sanity.

So, I guess it looks like this is going to go to trial. (At this stage of things, only the prosecutor can dismiss a case; the judge cannot look at these things before trial and dismiss--the trial has to start.) [Another side note: if for some reason the prosecutor comes to his senses and dismisses, your attorney should make sure to push to have it dismissed "with prejudice" so they can't change their minds. Also, then you can have the whole case expunged, that is, removed from all records.]

The way the trial works is that first the State puts on its case, then you have a chance to defend. Make sure that after the State puts on its case, and before your defense, that your attorney makes a motion to acquit. This is the first time the judge has a chance to dismiss. He will decide whether the State showed that you violated the law. Considering what we know, it is very unlikely that they will have done so even at this stage. And if it gets dismissed here, then you don't have to put on a defense at all.

I don't have a good feel for whether a judge or jury trial makes better sense. (Though, for this case and the evidence we know about, in some sense you can do both--if you do a jury trial, you still have a "judge trial" at the time of the motion for acquittal, and then the jury comes in as backup, so to speak, if you do have to make a defense.) The trouble with a jury trial is whether you get some idiot juror who thinks that, even though you did not violate the law, you ought not have had your butt exposed anyways, and you get a hung jury. Then it's not over and the prosecutor can decide to re-try (that is, if the prosecutor is an asshole, which, so far, seems to be the case).

Regarding the tanning salon case, make sure your attorney knows about it (but I suspect the prosecutor will be just as blind to that as to the "buttocks are genitals" argument). Regarding whether genitals were exposed, if when you were arrested you only had the sweatshirt and no shorts/thong, even if no witness actually saw a penis that could be circumstantial evidence that at some point genitals were exposed. But of course that's not the situation here. As far as I can tell, they have NOTHING. PS: There's another case in Ohio where a guy was convicted for public indecency for screwing a dog in his yard (yes, ick!). The defense claimed that nobody could see his penis because it was inside the dog. (I hope you're laughing reading this.) The appeal didn't work because they figured his penis must have been exposed at some point before entering the dog, even if nobody actually saw it.

So anyways, good luck. Let us know once the trial is scheduled.

(Also, I've sent you another PM.)

JM_Runs #43

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/29/2017 03:04:08

State v. MACKIE - nice bit of case law !! - Good find.
Mary0826 #44

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/29/2017 05:35:00

A question and a comment.  First, can a motion for change of venue(?) be entered as step one of the actual trial?  Maybe one of the surrounding counties would be more fair?  This assumes a jury is requested and locally the case has generated a lot of news that could mess up the minds of the jury.
Second, while I am sure the state has some type of law schooling, it might be wise to assume any discussion of the case on this forum might be viewed by the prosecutor or law enforcement.  This is basically a public forum that anyone who creates a login ID can view and/or participate in.   Private communications of important information might be better sent through the private mail services of this blog or in other ways.  While I am trying not to get too paranoid, I have heard of police viewing similar blogs to gather evidence against others, such as child molesters.  I do not want child molesters, but what if the prosecutor/city attorney officials or law enforcement chose to use information gathered through this blog and about this case to gather data on other thongers whom they might later choose to convict or at least harass?  
Maxtlatl #45

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:03/29/2017 06:05:09

No, there really is no cause for a change in venue in this case.

There is nothing that's been said here that could be used by a prosecutor. Also note that I've not used DirtyBirdOH's real name here, even though I know it. I've also used PMs for info I didn't think appropriate for here.

Regarding law enforcement looking in (and they may have done so in the past) we're also not discussing anything illegal--if anything, we're talking about getting screwed for something that was completely legal
DirtyBirdOH #46

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:04/03/2017 01:50:10

There was nothing in the media regarding this so no need for a change in venue based on that.

The police arrested me based on exposure of the buttocks, which is not illegal in Ohio.  The public indecency statute for Ohio clearly states exposure of "private parts" and jury instructions for the statute clearly state that private parts means genitals.  The witness specifically stated that genitals were not seen.

Essentially I was arrested for something that is not illegal; however, since the police were not aware I have to mount a defense and prove that it was not illegal which is costing me money and stress over something that should have never happened.
Vega1210 #47

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:04/05/2017 10:54:29

any updates on this?????  such a shame you have to pay to defend yourself.  Why does it have to be guilty until proven innocent!??!?!?!?
DirtyBirdOH #48

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:04/05/2017 11:06:34

The final pre-trial hearing is set for May 1st with the trial the following morning.
Maxtlatl #49

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:04/08/2017 06:04:04

I'd be really surprised if there actually is a trial on May 2. If one looks at the docket for the judge, there are 14 final pre-trial hearings scheduled for May 1 (which makes sense and is OK, since they are usually fairly short). However, if you look at the full dockets for those 14 cases, all but a couple of them also have their trial scheduled for the morning of May 2, just like you do.

That just ain't gonna happen. (And if it doesn't they've probably violated Ohio's speedy trial statute.)
DirtyBirdOH #50

Re:Arrested for wearing cheeky shorts in Ohio

Date Posted:05/01/2017 05:54:51

 Sent you a PM Max
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