Commonwealth v. Rudolf

At 4 a.m., a police officer saw Rudolf standing in a playground, wearing a bright shirt and no pants. The officer charged him with indecent exposure and open lewdness, and a jury found Rudolf guilty. He appealed, arguing that the Commonwealth did not meet its burden of proof for indecent exposure. Specifically, he asserted that a reasonable person, who was changing their clothes at 4:00 a.m. in a dark area where no one else was present, would have no reason to believe that such conduct would likely offend, affront, or alarm anyone. The Pennsylvania Superior Court found the argument to be meritless. The Court interpreted the indecent exposure statute and held that “it requires the actor to be either: (1) in any public place — regardless of whether other persons are present; or (2) in any place where there are [others] present . . . under circumstances in which [the actor] knows or should know that this conduct is likely to offend, affront or alarm.” The Court ruled the evidence to convict Rudolf was sufficient under the statute’s first or second prongs.

Rudolf