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What constitutes indecent exposure in Connecticut?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2021 | Firm News

Most sexual crimes under Connecticut law involve physical encounters with another person. However, some of the laws have to do with the way that people behave in public spaces or even with digital communication devices.

One of the most misunderstood laws regarding sexual conduct in Connecticut involves indecent exposure. Some people wrongly think that an incident as simple as falling down the stairs so that their skirt flies up could constitute indecent exposure. However, Connecticut is quite clear about the circumstances in which someone’s conduct constitutes indecent exposure.

It isn’t the nudity but the sexual intent that makes exposure indecent

If someone experiences what celebrities call a “wardrobe malfunction” where the wind ruffles their clothing or something rips in an unfortunate location, it is highly unlikely that the state would bring criminal charges against that individual.

Accidental nudity, especially temporary nudity that someone quickly moves to cover, does not meet the definition of indecent exposure in Connecticut either. Indecent exposure involved intentional nudity, performing sex acts in public, touching someone or themselves in a sexual way while in public or otherwise trying to elicit arousal in yourself or others through exposure or public lewdness.

Although there is an interpretive element to such charges, there is a clear implication that the sexual arousal or satisfaction of the perpetrator needs to play a role in their behavior. Those accused of indecent exposure may have a straightforward defense available to them if what occurred was truly an accident. When you understand the laws about sex crimes in Connecticut, it is easier to defend yourself against allegations of committing one.