Indecent exposure was no accident, B.C. judge says

Not an accident, rules judge

A Surrey Provincial Court judge has ruled a man’s penis did not accidentally fall out of his shorts twice.

On May 15, Judge Jennifer Lopes found Thomas Charles Cooper guilty of indecent exposure.

“I find that the Crown has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Cooper wilfully exposed his genitals twice in the mall on July 4, 2022,” Lopes said. “I do not accept Mr. Cooper’s submission that it was an accident.”

The incident took place at Guildford Town Centre, according to the ruling.

“Two women reported that they saw Mr. Cooper’s penis outside his shorts and called mall security,” Lopes said. “Mr. Cooper states that if his penis was out of his shorts, it was an accident.”

Lopes said two CCTV video clips showed Cooper approaching a bench.

“As he approaches the bench he looks down at his crotch area. He pulls up the leg of his shorts before sitting down,” the judge said. “While he is seated he looks at his crotch area four separate times. When he stands up he looks down again.”

J.F. testified that she was working in a store and saw a man seated on a bench.

“She saw the man’s penis outside of his shorts. J.F. testified that the man looked right at her. He had a bag with him that he moved. She was in disbelief about what she had seen and went to get a co-worker,” the ruling said.

She said she and the co-worker saw the man again about 30 minutes later on a couch.

“His penis was outside of his shorts again,” Lopes said.

Ms. C. testified J.F. pointed the man out to her.

“The man was looking around and exposed himself to them,” Lopes said. “He was wearing short shorts and he had a bag. He moved the bag, opened his legs, and his penis and testicles fell out of his shorts.”

They called security.

Cooper said he had initially gone to the mall to buy a DVD.

He said he was wearing shorts with underwear and before he went into the mall, he changed out of the shorts he was wearing into new shorts he had bought to exercise in. He did so in his vehicle in the parking lot.

“I find that Mr. Cooper changed shorts in the mall parking lot to facilitate the indecent exposure,” Lopes said.

He also testified he put on a mask and that he was concerned about catching COVID-19.

“He testified that he did not know his genitals were exposed,” Lopes said. “He testified that he did not intentionally expose his genitals. Mr. Cooper testified that the witnesses must have seen his exposed genitals as they testified to, as he did not think they would lie to the court.”

Lopes said Cooper’s evidence appeared rehearsed and confident.

“Under cross-examination, his demeanour changed. He became unclear, came up with new details, and mumbled uncertain answers,” Lopes said.

“Mr. Cooper was not forthright. Nor was he credible or reliable. I do not believe him and his evidence does not raise a reasonable doubt,” the judge ruled.

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