A recent case from the Geelong Magistrates Court (Victoria, Australia) gives an insight into penalties for indecent exposure.
On 8 October 2017 a 31 year old man asked a 46 year old woman walking on a trail to “show her tits”. He then exposed himself to her. It appears he was charged with breaching section 48 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.), for which the prescribed penalty is five years imprisonment:
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) A engages in an activity; and
(b) the activity is sexual; and
(c) another person (B) sees the activity or a part of the activity; and
(d) A knows that B will see, or will probably see, the activity or a part of the activity; and
(i) intends that B will experience fear or distress from seeing the activity or a part of the activity; or
(ii) knows that B will experience, or will probably experience, fear or distress from seeing the activity or a part of the activity.
(2) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum).
A mistaken but honest and reasonable belief that the activity was not sexual is not a defence to this offence.
McGarvie M accepted that the man had no criminal record and that the offense was out of character. However, she considered that the victim would have been confused and then horrified. The offender was placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond and fined $500.00 without conviction.
Police v Devlin (2018), Geelong Advertiser, 16 April 2018, p.14