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Virginia v. The Naked Guy

Update: 12:43 p.m.

It's over!

The Naked Guy is guilty of indecent exposure inside his own house. Turns out he had been naked for several hours, and that's what convicted him in the eyes of Judge O'Flaherty.

Prosecutors asked for jail time, but O'Flaherty declined. 180 days suspended, no fine. Court costs.

We'll have the play-by-play and post-trial reaction, coming up shortly.

-- Tom Jackman

Original post:

We are LIVE in Courtroom 2J of the Fairfax County courthouse, awaiting the Trial of the Century/Year/Morning -- the controversial case of Virginia v. The Naked Guy.

You remember -- the guy who was arrested by Fairfax police for indecent exposure while standing nude in his own house in Springfield. A woman and her 7-year-old son walked past and saw him, all of him.

The defendant, Erick Williamson, said he was just sitting there having coffee. The police say he was standing naked in a doorway, the pedestrians walked past, and then he moved to a window to give them a second glimpse.

The judge is District Court Judge Ian O'Flaherty, who is knowledgable, decisive and doesn't suffer fools gladly, as they say. Williamson has hired Dickson Young, a veteran defense attorney. Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Marc Birnbaum, sharp and experienced, will prosecute.

Let's get ready to rumble fully-clothed!

-- Tom Jackman

By Robert Pierre  |  December 18, 2009; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Pr. William , Updates , Virginia  
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I've got 29 yrs. of experience including criminal trials & appeals, the last 20 in a federal law enf. agency ... this is a joke, a waste of time, an example of the law making itself an ass, as the old quote goes.

What a waste of taxpayer funds & public employees' time. Pathetic.

Posted by: fendertweed | December 18, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Why did she look a second time?

Posted by: blasmaic | December 18, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

He was nude for several hours? Um how would they know? why was she watching him for several hours if she was offended?

Posted by: jjeffery | December 18, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

So, just how long are you allowed to be nude in your home? What stupidity. It just proves there is nothing special about judges. Just lawyers in a robe.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 18, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

This is unconstitutional.

Everyone should be free to wear whatever clothes or lack there of they want, whether in public or in their own home. It's freedom of expression.

This law and conviction is sheer madness and goes agaisnt the very principle of liberty.

Posted by: cassander | December 18, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm absolutely appalled. From the first moment I heard about this case, I thought how absurd it was to dictate how someone should dress INSIDE their home. Whatever happened to the right to privacy? I hope he appeals - out of principle. This cannot be the precedent we set. What civil liberty will be "stripped" from us next?

Posted by: jmckenzie89 | December 18, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

No problem running around your house naked as you please - just keep the curtains drawn. But if you just have to have the curtains wide open, expect to be held to a higher standard of decency. Glass windows require that higher standard.

Posted by: webdevgal | December 18, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

If you're gonna open the door and the windows then your 'right's become a little muddled. If you stand naked in front of a window while a woman and her child are walking by, then you're not going for privacy, you're making a public display. If people in a public place, (the street) can see you naked, then you're 'right to privacy' is wrong. Normally, any ID10T would know this already,......

Posted by: realneil | December 18, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Several hours . . . .from 3am to 8am?

I'll be interested to hear what facts convinced any judge this was worth a guilty verdict.

Posted by: ah___ | December 18, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

From Pants Man to Naked Guy. We live in a funny area.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 18, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the Erin Andrews stalker didn't film her here in Fairfax County--SHE would have been the one convicted of a crime.

Posted by: afreeman3 | December 18, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why all the articles in this new crime blog are being written in this kind of whimsical tone.

I'm surprised how many people are calling this case a waste of the court's time and clinging to naked guy's "rights" in his own home. It's one thing to accidentally walk by a window getting out of the shower. It's another thing to put on a day long display for your neighbors and their 7 YEAR OLD children ... straight up pervert. Should have locked him up to teach him a lesson.

Posted by: Mike40 | December 18, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

This will go down in the annals of history as the most ridiculous

They should have sent the guy home on day one with the apologies of the court.

But no, some busy body stay at home wife of a FFx County Police officer repeatedly looked in this mans windows and was "shocked" at his nakedness. Yet she looked twice, into two difference windows.

So her husband and all his ffx police buddies come and roust the man out of his sleep and arrest him.

4 days later, after this had completely blown up in their faces, and international guffaw and condemnation started pouring in, they go back the neighborhood to canvas all his neighbors to see if he did that often. The obviously found nothing. Despite the press releases the police put out, he isn't a repeat offender or a well known pervert.


Posted by: Nosh1 | December 18, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

According to the update, "Turns out he had been naked for several hours" is the key legal issue, the only discussion that matters now.

Focusing squarely on that, of course this ruling is wrong and should result in appeal and be overturned if Mr. Williamson and his lawyer wish to do so. The judge is associating a prolonged duration of TIME with INTENT - and there is no legal standard to uphold or justify this type of thinking. None. Zippo. Zero.

Need proof? Remember when someone was killed in the stampede at a Walmart as the store opened on Black Friday? There was a huge, long line wrapping around the corner and for blocks as people waited to get the best deals of the year. When the doors finally opened, the inevitable happened. But it wasn't due to the the time people spent in line, rather how the line was secured and organized, how the doors all opened at the same time, and how little security enforcement existed to control the crowd. But one could have argued, prior to a detailed examination of the facts, that a line at Walmart full of angry, impatient consumers who festered for hours upon hours in the cold morning air resulted in that tragic incident as they rushed the door. And that would be wrong, of course. The time factor is just a contributing factor, not a wholesale explanation of cause. The full investigation would reveal the reality in the long run and all the evidence would be taken in whole to merit the final judgement.

But not in this case! All the evidence was tossed aside with focus instead on one small aspect. An aspect that by itself invokes plenty of doubt.

This is all just plain wrong - legally, and intellectually as well.

Posted by: JimGoldbloom1 | December 18, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

FFX County appears to be the province of insular yokels if this judge is any indication ... I hope there's an appeal, the verdict seems absurd given the issue of intent noted above ...

Posted by: fendertweed | December 18, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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