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Alleged flasher may have criminal defense to assault charges

New Hampshire law may at least partially recognize the difference between a true sexual predator and a person who suffers from a mental illness that creates uncontrollable public behavior. Generally, flashers do their thing in public; they may shock the victim, but they rarely inflict true or lasting harm on anyone.  However, due to the uncontrollable urges, a flasher may develop a long record of violations, and he may tend to forego a criminal defense to the charges in many instances.

That does not mean that he doesn't need criminal defense counsel. Such counsel may be his only supporter and defender -- the only person who can get him the kind of psychological help that he needs. Recently, a Dover man emerged as having symptoms of being unable to stop exposing himself.

In the most recent allegations, he is accused not of flashing but of touching a woman's buttocks in a Market Basket store. Police were called because he had allegedly followed the woman and brushed against her buttocks on two occasions. Police say that he is out on bail for an incident recently occurring in a Walmart when he allegedly asked a woman if she had ever been flashed, while he started fiddling with his zipper.

The 52-year-old man allegedly told the woman in the Market Basket dairy area that he was sorry for touching her and that it was "accidental." Later, she felt something again brush against her at the deli counter, but she did not see the man. There is a video tape, but it does not depict him touching her due to poor quality. These circumstances make for a weak prosecution case.

In the Walmart case, the man played with his zipper but did not reveal anything. The weak proof of actual crime in both cases gives the man a criminal defense under New Hampshire law. That may be why an agreement was achieved that placed him in a treatment program. He is under strict conditions and may possibly escape a criminal record if he complies fully with the program. This appears to be an appropriate resolution that may bring some healing to his condition. 

Source: unionleader.com, "Market Basket groping just the latest arrest for Dover man", Kimberley Haas, April 19, 2017

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