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Man Convicted of Indecent Exposure at Home

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By Kamika Dunlap on December 23, 2009 12:15 PM

Erick Williamson was recently convicted of breaking Virginia's indecent exposure law.

Why has this case made news? He was busted for being in the buff in his own home.

A Fairfax County judge convicted Williamson of indecent exposure in a case that has raised questions about what's allowed when you're in your own home, the Associated Press reports.

Williamson testified that he never intended to expose himself and was simply exercising "personal freedom" as he spent several hours naked in his Springfield home packing up belongings.

Police, prosecutors and two witnesses, though, said Williamson's actions were designed to draw attention to himself.

Police say he made a point of making himself visible to a 7-year-old boy and his mother as they walked to school along a path outside Williamson's home.

Williamson, 29, received neither jail time nor a fine but is appealing anyway, saying a larger principle is at stake.

Williamson's attorney, Dickson Young argued that his client's conduct did not constitute a violation of the indecent exposure law.

Under Virginia's indecent exposure law, the charge requires "an obscene display or exposure" and must occur in "a public place or a place where others are present."

Young argued that neither prong had been met.

If Williamson follows through on his plans to appeal, though, a circuit court judge could impose a stiffer punishment, technically up to a year in jail.

This case has received national attention and spurred debate about the boundaries of acceptable nudity.

After hearing the verdict, Williamson also suggested that he was the victim of a double standard.

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