Free Child Guardianship Setup

Worsham Law Firm


Posted: January 26, 2018

In Missouri, it is against the law for someone to knowingly exposure his or her genitalia or private parts to others in public, thereby causing alarm. Although this sex crime is commonly known as “indecent exposure” or “public lewdness” in other states, it is referred to as “sexual misconduct” in Missouri.

The following are the three types of sexual misconduct charges in the state:

  • First-degree sexual misconduct – Exposing one’s genitals knowing it will likely alarm another, having sexual contact in the presence of others knowing it will likely alarm them, or having sexual intercourse in a public place in presence of another individual or more.
  • Second-degree sexual misconduct – Requesting sexual conduct from someone else in a manner which will likely cause alarm. This is also referred to as “solicitation.”
  • Sexual misconduct involving a child – Exposing one’s genitals to a child under 15 years of age knowing it will likely alarm them or for the sexual gratification of another person, coercing a child of under 15 to expose their genitals for the sexual gratification of any individual including the child, or coercing a girl of less than 15 years old to expose her breasts over the internet or through electronic means (.e.g. texts, emails) for the sexual gratification of anyone.

While first- and second-degree sexual misconduct are considered misdemeanors, sexual misconduct involving a child is classified as a felony.


Sexual misconduct is a combination of both intentional and reckless conduct. The intentional component often focuses on the exposure of the genitals. For instance, did the individual intend to unzip his pants, or did he accidentally forget to zip his pants back up after using the restroom? If the defendant can show that the intent was an accident, he has a chance to win his case.

The reckless component focuses on the conduct surrounding the exposure. For example, if a male defendant publicly urinated on an alley wall, the question is if he was reckless about whether or not a child or others would see the act. If a defendant’s attorney presents evidence that the defendant took steps to avoid having others view his genitals, such going behind a dumpster where no other person can see, then he could negate the reckless part of a sexual misconduct charge.

When it comes to cases involving children, a common defense is to present a mistake of fact, in regard to the child’s age. Although a defendant essentially admits that the exposure occurred, he did not intend for the child to be the recipient.

If you have been arrested for sexual misconduct in Missouri, request a free consultation with ourSpringfield criminal defense attorney at Worsham Law Firm today.

Categories: Sex Crimes