By Joshua Liang
Woodland – The jury trial of Martin Arturo Rios, a Davis resident charged with indecent exposure in a public area, resumed in Department 13.
According to eyewitness reports, the defendant had been openly masturbating in front of different women over the course of both 2017 and 2018, with more than one witness only noticing Mr. Rios after he had been staring at them for an unknown period of time.
The trial resumed with the court dismissing one of the jurors for the remainder of the trial. The remaining jurors were told not to speculate while an alternate was sworn in to fill the empty seat.
The first witness was then called forth. After being sworn in she told the court she was a resident of Davis, having worked as a realtor in the city for more than eight years.
On the morning of April 19, 2017, the witness reported to the jury that she had made the 911 call at around 9 AM. She had been sitting in her car parked at the parking lot of Whole Foods on First Street. The witness had reported she had been talking with her husband and was dressed in fitness attire as she had been planning on going jogging.
During the conversation, the witness began noticing a vehicle parked around eight spaces to her left. The driver’s side door had been open and a man with his pants down around his legs was situated out of the door frame. When asked what the individual was doing, she replied that he had been masturbating in broad view of the witness. The defendant’s car was described as a sedan of a dark color.
The witness stated that the defendant had been the only occupant of the sedan, which had been parked perpendicular to her own vehicle. She reiterated that the defendant’s legs had been situated out of the driver’s door at the time of the incident, giving her a clear view of the defendant’s penis.
The witness clarified that during the brief time she had been exposed to the defendant’s genitals, it appeared that his penis had been erect and it was clear what his intentions were as his hand could be seen moving up and down the shaft. Based on the above information, the witness concluded that the defendant had been masturbating.
At the time of the incident, there had been other cars in the parking lot, although the witness confided that she had not given a thorough glance to determine if any of the vehicles had been occupied. The witness went on to describe the defendant as wearing a hat at the time of the incident and identified him in the courtroom as wearing a black T-shirt. The witness recalled that she had been in the parking lot for about 15 minutes while the defendant purportedly masturbated. She went on to state that, throughout the ordeal, she was unable to ascertain any facial expressions by the defendant. She surmised that she did not know whether the defendant ejaculated at any point. Trying not to draw attention to herself, she called the police and, shortly thereafter, the defendant left the scene in his sedan. Sometime after the police responded, the witness made a positive identification at the police station. The witness surmised that the account was a fair reflection of what had occurred in the parking lot.
The witness stated that her description of the defendant at the time of the incident was that of a white male in his early twenties. She made it clear that prior to April 19 of 2017, she had had no prior contact with the defendant and had no previous knowledge of his living conditions or whereabouts. The court dismissed her from the stand.
The defense then called their own witness to the stand. Identified as a painting contractor, the second witness stated that he had never given testimony in court. Having run his own painting business for more than 14 years, the witness stated that he used his check book to keep track of his business.
After reviewing his notes for the day of June 15, 2018, the witness testified that he had been working two jobs at the time. Stating that his business mainly serviced the greater Sacramento area and he was aware that the city’s expansions had made morning traffic more hectic. The witness was unsure when he started work that day, stating that he was not “an early bird.”
The witness stated that he had the defendant under his employ during that time. He testified that the defendant’s attire during work sessions consisted of white pants, as they primarily handled white paint on jobs. He stated that Mr. Rios had facial markings and a lip ring, stating that he personally disliked the ring as he believed in maintaining some semblance of professionalism when on jobs. The witness stated that the defendant had already had the lip ring when he had first been hired. Mr. Rios and the witness had done hundreds of jobs together.
He also stated that he had worked with contractors on painting jobs other than with the defendant. The witness stated there was a realm of possibility that they had begun work at 9 am on June 15, although it remained highly unlikely as the witness preferred to start work before then. He stated that Mr. Rios would always arrive before him and never afterwards. The witness also confirmed that he believed the defendant to be a reliable worker and believed it was safe to assume he did not want anything bad to happen to Mr. Rios. He also affirmed that his beliefs about the defendant were based primarily on his own previous experiences with Mr. Rios.
The court then dismissed the jury for a break and planned to reconvene on September 18 at 1:30 PM.