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Naked Guy convicted -- but he is appealing

The Trial of the Morning raised the burning legal question: If you are standing naked in your own house and someone sees you from outside, are you indecently exposing yourself?

Judge Ian O'Flaherty ruled yes, in the context of the Oct. 19 case of Erick Williamson. But Williamson said the whole thing was outrageous, and he promptly filed an appeal to Fairfax Circuit Court.

The new information to emerge today is that the alleged exposure by Williamson, on Arley Drive in the Springfield area, apparently occurred over several hours, not just in a one-time flash to a woman and her 7-year-old son at 8:40 a.m.

The first episode happened at 6:35 a.m., according to Joyce Giuliani, a neighbor who was driving to work. She said as she drove past Williamson's rented house on Arley Drive, someone with long hair was standing in the front window, in the altogether. She couldn't identify Williamson specifically.

Though it didn't come out at trial today, Williamson's lawyer, Dickson Young, said Giuliani called the police about the naked man. Young said the police came and didn't find anything. He said that will be raised in the next trial.

So two hours later that morning, Yvette Dean came walking by with her son on a trail running past the side of Williamson's house, Dean testified. She said she heard a rattling noise standing in the doorway of his house, holding the screen door open.

"How was he dressed?" Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Marc Birnbaum asked.

"He wasn't," Dean answered.

Dean said she threw her coat over her son's head, they reached the sidewalk and headed toward nearby Hunt Valley Elementary School. But when she looked at the house again, Williamson had now moved to the front, and was once again in all his glory in a large window.

"Was he completely naked?" Birnbaum asked.

"I could see from the belt up," Dean said.

"Could you see below the belt?" Birnbaum followed up.

"Yes, but not to the floor. I was able to see the whole 'area,'" Dean said, making clear that the area was slightly below the belt.

On cross-examination, Young asked why she looked at the house again after her first, horrified response.

"To see if, 'Did I just see that?'" she said.

Finally, The Naked Guy testified.

He said he was in the process of moving out of the house, where he had lived with four other guys. They all left for work at 5:10 a.m., so he came downstairs in 5:15, and had the house to himself.

"Personal freedom," Williamson said, explaining his nakedness. "It's liberating." He said he was packing, making coffee, cleaning up, making breakfast, for several hours. There were curtains on the window, but they were open.

At no time, Williamson said, did he stand in the open doorway or the front window. He said he had no intent to expose himself, and "it didn't occur to me" that passersby might see him inside his lighted house.

In his closing argument, Young said that "nudity in one's home is not a crime. Under the circumstances of this case, a person who is careless, who should have drawn the blinds and didn't, that is not criminal behavior. If you're in a private place and take your clothes off, you have not committed a crime."

O'Flaherty responded, "What if you're in a private place and standing in front of a big plate glass window?"

Young: "That doesn't help in terms of making it intentional, and you have to do it in an obscene fashion."

O'Flaherty said Williamson was "intentionally naked, but is he intentionally exposing himself? I'm certain John Dillinger thought he was doing nothing wrong when he walked into banks and shot them up."

The judge then issued his ruling. "I believe from the evidence here," O'Flaherty said, "that the gentleman obviously was intentionally naked in the house. I find that the windows were completely uncovered. That fact that it went on for so long indicates an obscene display and I find the gentleman guilty."

Prosecutor Birnbaum then asked for jail time for Williamson. "When there is an exposure, no one deserves to see it, but especially not a 7-year-old child."

Young pointed out that Williamson has no criminal record. O'Flaherty sentenced him to 180 days in jail, all suspended for a period of one year. No fine, just court costs of approximately $72, which he didn't have to pay since he appealed.

Williamson said the publicity from his arrest cost him a job as a commercial diver.

"Naked in my house?" he said after the conviction. "I'm the victim. They're looking in my house." He noted that police showed up sometime after 10 a.m. while he was sleeping, awoke him in his bed and took him away.

Williamson has moved from Fairfax County, but will be back for the rematch on Feb. 1 in Circuit Court.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman  |  December 18, 2009; 1:50 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax , Tom Jackman  
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We need to ask the woman who saw him how "appealing" he really is.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 18, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I think had he been more "appealing" in the first place; it might not have been reported. Oh NOES! My child haz seen the naked! Whatever lady. The correct response is to point, laugh or ignore. And then perhaps politely notify the naked guy that you can see him and would he mind not showing off the tackle. I think that maybe his roomies should have been more disturbed, him putting his parts on the furniture directly.

Posted by: monkeynavigated | December 18, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

im "appealing" and i wouldnt even stand in front of a window naked. there might be perverted dudes like this guy outside my window. this guy needs some sort of punishment for lack of common sense

Posted by: ryjufox3 | December 18, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Just another jock begging for attention.

Anyway, after the woman look again, why did this man moved his position and didn't cover up after he knew the woman saw him? Yeah...that man wanted the woman to look again.

What a narcissist. Who is he kidding???

Posted by: ldsw | December 18, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Was the homeowner in violation of any civic association rule that requires window coverings?

Posted by: blasmaic | December 18, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

If the situation were reversed--and a woman was standing around naked in front of her window, and a man walked by and complained--would he be charged and convicted of being a peeping tom?

Posted by: awashingtonian1 | December 18, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love the ridiculous puritan-isms in our society-- the 7yr old was likely most surprised at why mom was freaking out. Parents-- stop projected our own perverted thoughts on your pre-pubescent children. YOU are the ones thinking sexy thoughts, not the kids. No wonder Europe throw the puritans out...

And I wonder if the kids all have little private changing rooms at their school gym class locker-rooms?? I bet not. Whoa. Arrest everybody!

Posted by: omarsidd | December 18, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

The defendant was wrong. And should have received some incarceration, say 30 days.

Posted by: | December 18, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Just a little suspicious why the first woman who saw him was not report in the original media report as well as the police investigating his home at that time at the earlier time. Why wasn't he awaken then? Also not mention was the fact that the woman with the child was married to a police officer and all of the door to door efforts of the PD to collect any kind of evidence against this man. Why should we or the courts believe anything this woman says and then make a determination based solely on her testimony that he was purposely trying to expose himself? But as most men know these days anything a woman say is to believed. Perfect example of a totalitarian govt.

Posted by: gudenuff1 | December 18, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Why was the woman looking in the window in the first place? Ridiculous.

Posted by: Pilot1 | December 18, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

If you don't want to get arrested, just don't ever be naked in your house.

And throwing a jacket over your 7-year-old's head is a perfectly reasonable response to the sight of a naked dude in the distance.

Why are we fighting the Taliban? We ARE the Taliban.

Posted by: web_user | December 18, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I flaunt my nakidity openly in the comfort of my home in support of this man.

The government can take our guns, they can take our money in the form of taxes, they can take our sons and daughters to war, but they will_not_take_our_clothes.

Keep those dirties covered, lest the wrath of god befall you!

Posted by: hithere1 | December 18, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Nothing but a totally moron US society and these puritan SOB conservative republican menace, with their evangelical BS hypocrisy and rest of BS that makes this country a laughing stock of the world.

Posted by: winemaster2 | December 18, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

If a man sa a naked women, he would smile and walk away. Because a woman saw a man naked,WOW HOW HORRIBLE!!
Just ask youeself, Why are women who remove their bathing tops ever proecuted or placed on the sexual abuser list??

Posted by: captgrumpy | December 20, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why the woman covered the boy's eyes. It's not like he saw something he doesn't see every day.

Posted by: Thundershock | December 21, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

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