By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Today we’ll talk about the basic law of indecency with a child by exposure in my continuing blog series about sexual abuse charges. It goes without saying sexual abuse is an incredibly complex topic in every way – so you can reference this blog as an index to the others including this one.
What is Indecency By Exposure?
This is where a person either exposes themselves to a child or causes the child to expose themselves to any person. The lynchpin to the exposure being a crime is it must be done with “intent to gratify or arouse any person.” See Tex.Pen.C. 21.11(a)(2).
Like with Indecency by contact – the legislature felt it better for a jury to decide which situations constituted an offense and which didn’t.
Indecency by exposure is considered an act of sexual abuse for the purposes of the “continuous sexual abuse of a child” statute.
The “Romeo and Juliet defense” is available for indecency by exposure if the actor is not more than three years older than the victim and the victim is 14 years or older.
Sex Offender Registration – A Major Difference
One major difference between indecency by exposure and indecency by contact are the sex offender registration requirements under Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Indecency by exposure triggers a ten-year registration instead of a lifetime registration.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters.