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Public Indecency

If you were charged with the crime of public indecency under Ohio's Revised Code 2907.09 in Cincinnati, Ohio, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Joslyn Law Firm in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Brian Joslyn represents clients charged with sexually motivated crimes throughout Cincinnati and Hamilton County. If you were arrested in the enclaves of Cincinnati, including Norwood, Elmwood Place, and Saint Bernard, then seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm fight cases after an arrest in the cities of Blue Ash, Cheviot, Deer Park, Forest Park, Harrison, Village of Indian Hill, Madeira, Montgomery, Mount Healthy, North College Hill, Norwood, Reading, Silverton, Springdale, St. Bernard and Wyoming.

Brian Joslyn also represents clients in Ohio's third-most populous county, Hamilton County, and the adjacent counties of Butler County to the north, Warren County to the northeast, and Clermont County to the east.

Call (513) 399-6289 today.


Elements of Public Indecency under R.C. 2907.09

Senate Bill 245, effective April 4, 2007, changed the degree of the offense of public indecency but did not change the elements of this offense. The elements of public indecency under Ohio's Revised Code 2907.09, must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt including that the defendant, under circumstances in which his/her conduct was likely to be viewed by and affront by others:

  • who are in his/her physical proximity and who are not members of his/her household, recklessly; or
  • another person who is a minor, who is not his/her spouse, and who resides in his/her household;
  • knowingly does one of the following:
    • (A) exposed his/her private parts either:
      • with the purpose of personal sexual arousal or gratification; or
      • to lure the minor into sexual activity.
    • (B) engaged in masturbation; 
      or
    • (C) engaged in sexual conduct.
      or
    • (D) engaged in conduct that to an ordinary observer would appear to be sexual conduct or masturbation.

The jury instructions for public indecency by the Ohio Judicial Conference are found in 2 OJI-CR 507.09 for offenses committed on and after September 26, 2005. The jury instructions were last revised on February 24, 2007.


Penalties for Ohio's Public Indecency Statute

A violation of division (A)(1) of this section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree for a first offense and a misdemeanor of the third degree for a second or subsequent offense. A violation of division (A)(1) is a misdemeanor in the second degree if any person who was likely to view and be affronted by the offender's conduct was a minor.

If the defendant was previously convicted of two violations of this section, a violation of division (A)(1) of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree or, if any person who was likely to view and be affronted by the offender's conduct was a minor, a misdemeanor of the first degree.

If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to three or more violations of this section, a violation of division (A)(1) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree or, if any person who was likely to view and be affronted by the offender's conduct was a minor, a felony of the fifth degree.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in division (C)(3) of this section, a violation of division (A)(2) or (3) of this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one violation of this section, a violation of division (A)(2) or (3) of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree or, if any person who was likely to view and be affronted by the offender's conduct was a minor, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to two or more violations of this section, a violation of division (A)(2) or (3) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree or, if any person who was likely to view and be affronted by the offender's conduct was a minor, a felony of the fifth degree.

A violation of division (B)(1), (2), or (3) of this section is generally charged as a misdemeanor of the second degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one violation of this section, a violation of division (B)(1), (2), or (3) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to two or more violations of this section, a violation of division (B)(1), (2), or (3) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree.

A violation of division (B)(4) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any violation of this section, a violation of division (B)(4) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree.


Definitions under the Public Indecency Statute

The phrase “likely to be viewed by and affront” is defined to mean that reasonable persons of common intelligence who are likely to view the conduct would likely be affronted if they saw the conduct.

The term “affront” means to offend; to insult openly. “Private parts” means genitals, although in State v. Jetter (1991), 74 Ohio App.3d 535, the court held that term “private parts” in the public indecency statute did not include a female breast.

The term “masturbation” means genital self-excitation, usually by manipulation. “Sexual activity” means sexual conduct or sexual contact, or both. “Privilege” means an immunity, license, or right conferred by law or bestowed by express or implied grant, or arising out of status, position, office, or relationship, or growing out of necessity.

Under the public indecency statute, a “minor” is a person under the age of eighteen.


Additional Resources

2907.09 Public indecency - Visit the website of LAW Writer® Ohio Laws and Rules to find Ohio’s Revised Code under Title 29 for sexually motivated offenses including public indecency charged under 2907.09 including the elements of the offense, possible penalties, statutory definitions, and defenses.


Finding an Indecent Exposure Lawyer in Hamilton County, OH

If you were cited for the criminal offense under Ohio's Revised Statute 2907.09 for public indecency then seek out the services of a qualified attorney. During the consultation, you can learn more about the charge pending against you, ways to avoid the typical penalties, and the best defenses to fight the charges.

Call (513) 399-6289 today to discuss your case.


This article was last updated on Monday, March 13, 2017.

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