Open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior is a felony in Massachusetts (M.G.L. c 272 s 16). Anyone convicted of open and gross lewdness and lascivious acts faces up to 3 years in state prison. Anyone convicted of this charge in Massachusetts must register as a sex offender. The statute of limitations is 6 years. Indecent exposure is a lesser included offense.
Any sex crime is serious but open and gross in MA is taken very extremely serious. In addition to the typical penalties a felony conviction carries it also requires a sex offender registration. A criminal attorney can help to defend charges like open and gross behavior in MA.
What is Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior?
The district attorney must prove five elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict someone for committing open and gross act.
- One exposed their genitals or buttocks or female breasts to at least one person;
- It was done on purposes or intentionally;
- It was done openly, intentional public exposure or a recklessly disregarded risk of public exposure;
- It would shock a reasonable person;
- A person was actually shocked or alarmed by the act
An important element of open and gross is the open element. Here, the prosecutor needs to prove the act was done in an open way. Massachusetts courts have rules that in order to prove an act was done in the open it must prove it was the defendant’s intent to be seen. A public place is not required. As long as the act was intended to be seen it satisfies the open element.
In order to prove alarm or shock the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the person had a serious negative emotional experience. Shock or alarm is more than just nervousness or fear.
Finally, there is no eyewitness testimony of the exposure required to prove a charge of open and gross in MA.
Defenses to Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior?
An experienced Massachusetts criminal attorney can help defend sex crimes like open and gross. A criminal lawyer can read the allegations and find the strongest defense.
Typically defenses to open and gross charges include defenses to the open and the shock element.
Massachusetts Criminal Attorney
Mass Criminal Attorney Patrick Donovan has successfully represented clients charged with open and gross charges in Ma. Attorney Donovan has helped clients avoid convictions to this criminal charge.
Attorney Donovan was a prosecutor in Massachusetts. He uses that training to get the best outcome for each of his clients.
Attorney Donovan has appeared in over fifty criminal courts
in Massachusetts. His law office is located in Quincy and he offers a free no obligation