Court rules that exposing private parts to a woman and cursing in front of young son is free speech


Thomas Bryan Wade 
By: Feng Qian

Charges against a homeless man were dismissed by the Oregon Court of Appeals, ruling that exposing himself to a woman and her young son while cursing is free speech.

According to the police investigation, 44-year-old Thomas Bryan Wade was at Gresham Park, when he unzipped his pants, reached inside and leaned in the direction of the woman who was with her 7-year-old son.

The woman turned away her head, not wanting to see the man’s private parts. Wade then reportedly called her a b***h, and challenged her to come to him.

The child began to cry, and the mother left the park and called the police.

Wade was convicted of disorderly conduct, but this week, the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the misdemeanor conviction, finding that Wade had committed no crime.

Wade's behavior amounted to freedom of expression protected by the Constitution, the Court of Appeals ruled.