Sterling Heights man charged with indecent exposure

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published February 11, 2013

MADISON HEIGHTS — When Madison Heights police responded to reports of a senior citizen sitting in his car, leafing through adult magazines in plain sight, they caught the individual with his genitals out. 

The 68-year-old Sterling Heights man was arraigned by Magistrate Kimberly Wilson in Madison Heights 43rd District Court Tuesday, Jan. 29. He is charged with indecent exposure, as well as trespassing, loitering, littering and having open intoxicants, each of which is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 93 days in jail.

At press time, he had been released on payment of a $1,000 bond.

The incident occurred around 4:45 p.m. Jan. 28 in the parking lot of Advance Auto Parts, 27100 John R. An employee of the business reported the suspect to police, alleging the suspect was sitting in a red Ford Fusion, viewing pornographic content.

Several customers had allegedly complained to the employee about the man’s lewd behavior and how the adult images were easy to see from outside the car, a distance of some 15 feet away at eye level.

Police were also told by the employee that the man had appeared in the parking lot with some regularity throughout the last several months, sitting in the car for about a half-hour each time.

“He recalled seeing this car parked out there a number of times before,” said Madison Heights Police Lt. Robert Anderson.

A description of the suspect vehicle, including its license plate number, was provided to police, and upon arriving, the responding officer allegedly saw several discarded magazine wrappers lying on the ground outside the car.

As the officer approached the vehicle, it was clear the suspect was viewing a pornographic image, police said. He was reportedly exposed, and he had been drinking a bottle of beer.

Once confronted, the officer found six adult magazines inside the vehicle. The bottle of Bud Light was also confiscated.

“During booking, he seemed remorseful,” Anderson said of the suspect.

While customers saw only the magazine, according to police, the officer saw the suspect’s genitalia, which resulted in the indecent exposure charge.

Being inside a car doesn’t give one license to do whatever they please, Anderson said.

“Even though you’re inside a vehicle,” Anderson said, “you’re still in a public place.”