Judge: Fairborn trans woman not guilty of public indecency
A Fairborn trans woman accused of public indecency for changing in the women's locker room at the Xenia YMCA has been found not guilty.
Greene County Municipal Court Judge David McNamee handed down his ruling Monday on the three misdemeanor charges.
Defense attorney Lauren Dever believes charges were filed out of unwarranted fears.
“No young children saw anything, there was no exposure of genitalia, no predatory behavior," Dever said. "This is a person trying to live their life.”
The case was based upon accusations by three female members of the Xenia YMCA. They claim they witnessed the defendant exposing male genitals while changing in the women’s locker room at the Xenia YMCA. The women alleged several incidents occurred last year.
Per Ohio law, for public indecency cases, prosecutors must prove several elements, including that the defendant exposed private body parts and acted recklessly.
During trial, the witnesses who made the allegations admitted under oath they didn’t see exposed genitals.
In his decision, McNamee noted prosecutors didn't prove the defendant exposed herself nor that she acted recklessly.
Dever said the judge was diligent in considering both sides of this case.
“For a case like that, it’s really tough for a judge to make a ruling from the bench," Dever said. "I thought he was very respectful, he did his job and followed the rule of law — and as a lawyer you have to be grateful for that.”
According to the YMCA, the 31-year-old defendant is allowed full access to its women’s locker rooms. The YMCA says it's following Ohio law, which prohibits discrimination by a place of public accommodation on the basis of sex, including gender identity.
Dever said she and her client are relieved by the not guilty verdict.
"Just to see the toll this case has taken on her just because it's been so widely publicized, and it was really hard for her to wait and to not know what was going on and to not know what this decision was going to be. It's a relief for her to start to heal and move on," Dever said. "I hope the community is able to move on, that people can see their worst fears isn't what really happened."