Man found not guilty of exposing himself on plane as his penis was not erectBy Mason White 1:01 PM November 25, 2013
|Ronald Stuart Clarke|
By: Eva Fett
A man was cleared of wrongdoing after he was accused of exposing himself on a plane next to a woman.
Ronald Stuart Clarke, 49, of Provo, Utah, first came under investigation when a woman sitting beside him on a flight from Washington, DC, had seen his exposed genitals.
Clarke told police that he exposed himself on a flight because he accidentally got peppermint oil on the penis.
The FBI finally began to investigate the case and federal prosecutors filed a charges against him for indecent exposure of his genitals and/or participation in masturbation in a public place.
On Thursday, a judge found Clarke not guilty, saying federal prosecutors could not prove that he intended to break the law.
Problems for Clarke began on the flight when according to documents, he sat in a middle seat between two women.
The documents stated that the woman in the window seat saw the man covering his lap with a coat and “continually moving his arm under his coat.”
As the flight approached Salt Lake City, the woman leaned forward to remove her glasses and saw that Clarke was “holding his exposed penis in his right hand.”
She confronted the man, and he apologized.
The woman reported the incident to the police when the plane landed.
During an interview, Clarke told investigators that he had inadvertently put peppermint oil on his genitals.
He told police he had a headache before the flight, and he applied peppermint oil to the head in an airport bathroom.
While using the bathroom, oil got onto his genitals. During the flight, his privates began to burn and feel irritated. In response, he unbuttoned his pants and removed his genitals from his underwear. However, he told investigators that he did not take his penis out of his pants.
The other woman, who sat in the aisle seat next to the suspect testified at the trial that she saw nothing.
The federal judge cited five reasons for declaring Clarke not guilty.
He did not have an erection.
He was covered with his coat.
The first woman did not see anything until she leaned over.
It was a night flight and it was dark.
He has no criminal record.
These facts raise a reasonable doubt of his guilt, the judge concluded.