Can a Man Be Charged for Indecent Exposure in His Own Kitchen?

It is 2 am, a woman, home in her own kitchen, is working away on her computer for her second job.  She pauses and sees, across the 20-foot-wide breezeway, her neighbor’s light turn on.  Suddenly she looks over and sees the figure of her neighbor, Eduardo Navarro, fully naked, his penis in full view, moving with his body.

They make eye conduct and she can see through the blinds that are down, but there are broken blinds and gaps that allowed her to see.

Scared, she moves away and heads to bed.

The next evening at 8:20 pm, she sees Mr. Navarro again – naked – this time, touching his penis, moving it around.

Scared again, this time she gets angry and calls 911.

“It was dark and suddenly there was a light at 2 am,” said the 32-year-old, who had been living in her apartment for three years with her husband.  “He was naked.”

She explained that “his blind was partially broken” and she could see through “the gap between the blinds” and well as the gap between the window’s edge and his blinds.

She said, “He was looking at me.”  He seemed to smile and look down.

“He was showing it to me – wiggling it to me,” she said.  “I was so scared, I turned off my laptop and went to bed.”

For the defense, represented by Public Defender Diamond Ward, this case was about “mistakes.”  She said, “We all make mistakes.”  And she argued that “the complaining witness is mistaken about what she saw happening.”

Mr. Navarro, Ms. Ward explained, is 36 years old, living in a studio apartment with his brother.  They have lived in this apartment for the last 11 to 12 years.  The complaining witness moved into the apartment in 2015.

For three years, they have been neighbors.  They have never had a problem.  They are on friendly terms.

The defense attorney argued that Mr. Navarro’s blinds were closed.  Somehow, she argued, the complaining witness was able to look through small gaps in the blinds when his lights were off and there was no light in the 20-foot-wide breezeway that separates their kitchens.

She argued that there was no evidence to show that Mr. Navarro was inappropriate with the complaining witnesses.  She argued that the prosecution can’t prove that Mr. Navarro intended to draw public attention to his penis.

Instead, she argued that Mr. Navarro was living his everyday life in the comfort of his own home and was completely unaware of the problem until police arrived at his door.

“It’s not a crime to be naked at home with the blinds closed and the lights off,” Ms. Ward said.  “Mr. Navarro is truly an innocent man.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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