Missouri House targets prisoners who expose themselves

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | 7:12 a.m. CDT; updated 9:27 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — Inmates who expose their genitals in a Missouri prison could face additional felony charges under legislation given initial approval by the state House.

The legislation endorsed Tuesday would impose tougher penalties on prisoners than the general public for the crime of second-degree sexual misconduct.

It currently is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail for people to expose their genitals or have sexual contact in the presence of a third person when it is likely "to cause affront or alarm."

Legislation by Republican Rep. Paul Fitzwater, of Potosi, would make the crime a felony for prisoners.

Fitzwater said there were more than 1,200 misconduct violations last year for prisoners exposing themselves. But he says few are prosecuted because a misdemeanor would result in no additional prison time.

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