Monday, November 14, 2005

Judge Clears NM. Man Accused of Mooning

Albuquerque, NM.

A New Mexico County judge ruled Tuesday that the act of mooning is not illegal in New Mexico, clearing a man accused of indecent exposure after showing his buttocks to a neighbor during an argument.

Judge Joe W. Dredd said the defendant, Gerald Joe Moreno, 35, committed a "disgusting" and "demeaning" act when he allegedly exposed himself to his neighbor and her 8-year-old daughter December 7. But the judge overturned an earlier decision by a District Court judge against Moreno.

"If exposure of half of the buttock constituted indecent exposure, any woman wearing a thong at the beach at Ocean City would be guilty," Dredd said, according to a report in Wednesday's Albuquerque Tribune.

Moreno's neighbor, Nadia Vasquez, accused him of yelling at her and threatening to "expose me on his website" as she and her daughter walked out of their apartment. The two had a heated meeting the night before at the local Sai center, according to Moreno's attorneys, and Moreno wanted Vasquez to leave the building. "Then, for whatever reason, in full view of my daughter, he mooned us," Vasquez wrote in court documents.

New Mexico District Court Judge Egbert Wolfie ruled against Moreno on the indecent exposure claim, a charge that is punishable by up to three years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Moreno appealed, saying state law only covers display of a person's "private parts," which does not include the buttocks. His attorneys cited a 1983 case of a woman arrested in front of the U.S Supreme Court with only a cardboard sign on the front of her body. Moreno butted in that he was willing and able to prove this case with screenshot captures on his site.An appeals court later ruled indecent exposure only relates to a person's genitals.

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