Specific intent not required

Indecent exposure is a general intent crime not a specific intent crime

Defendant was convicted of gross misdemeanor indecent exposure for conduct that occurred on a public sidewalk in the presence of children who were under the age of 16.  On appeal, defendant contended that the indecent exposure statute required the State to prove that he engaged in conduct with a specific intent to be lewd, and therefore, the Minnesota Court of Appeals erred when it affirmed the trial court’s denial of his request for a jury instruction on the defense of involuntary intoxication.

The Minnesota Supreme Court held that (1) its previous interpretations of the indecent exposure statute, Minn. Stat. §617.23, subd. 2, did not add the element of specific intent; and (2) the plain and unambiguous language of the indecent exposure statute creates a general intent crime.  Affirmed.

State v. Jama, A17-0481, Minnesota Supreme Court.

Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

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