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Man faces indecent exposure charge after incident outside grocery store

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man faces an indecent exposure charge after allegedly exposing himself outside a local grocery store.

The 29-year-old man pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge Tuesday after the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office began investigating him on Oct. 19. A woman called deputies that afternoon when spotting a man she did not know inside a car masturbating in the parking lot of Albertsons on Hitt Road, according to charging documents.

The woman spotted the man as she was leaving the store with her 5-year-old son. The woman noticed the car’s window was down and the man seemed to be watching the young boy closely, a deputy writes in a report. When she noticed the man’s lewd act, the woman quickly drove away and called law enforcement.

Deputies ran the man’s license plate number based on what the woman described. Investigators created a photo lineup to show to the woman days later. The woman picked out the photo of the suspect, and deputies went to his house to speak to him.

While at the suspect’s house, the man claimed he had been sick with COVID-19 the past four weeks and was likely at home on Oct. 19. The man also showed deputies his banking app, which did not show any purchases at the grocery store the day of the incident.

The man then changed his story, saying he had been at Albertsons the week of the incident but affirmed he was not masturbating. He claimed to be a fidgety person and the woman was mistaken about what she said she saw.

Deputies then issued the misdemeanor citation. As it is not a felony, is not releasing his name.

October’s indecent exposure incident is not the first time eastern Idaho law enforcement has received such calls at a grocery store. In July, the Idaho Falls Police Department took a report of another man masturbating in his car outside the Albertsons on Broadway while watching children.

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