If you are one of our supporters you are likely aware of the Ellis-Gilmore case which was brought to our attention via a blog post by John Chiv who frequently covers local arrest reports on his blog site. Clinton Ellis-Gilmore was arrested for indecent exposure as he had been caught masturbating in public, fully nude, where families often congregate.
Public Masturbation is a Hard Image to Miss
No serious person who saw the details from this incident thought this man innocent of public masturbation. There were numerous witnesses to Clinton’s public masturbation. One of them spoke with police on the scene and has since given an interview to our citizen journalist, James Graham, and explains in detail exactly what he saw in the video below.
Subsequent to our original articles and publication on the subject, Ash Teeter and I were successful in catching Clinton as he entered the courtroom for his hearing the other day – he declined our request for comment. Unfortunately, we were surrounded by on-site Sheriff deputies shortly thereafter and instructed to delete our footage while they visually confirmed we had indeed done so.
We were not aware that filming from the place we were stationed at the time was against the law, and we were only there to report on this ongoing development. The seriousness of this situation seemed to increase in severity when we later realized, after waiting outside of the courtroom in a public area for nearly an hour, that Clinton had been tipped off and escorted out a back entrance presumably to escape our questions.
Two Tier Justice System – Money Power
Fast forward to now and we wake up to find Humboldt County has become a place where a man can get caught whacking it in public and get off with a slap on the wrist. As reported by John Chiv in his article titled “DA dismisses indecent exposure charge, Gilmore pleads to lesser charge and SWAP authorized by court,” Chiv explains how the DA dismissed Clinton’s fully nude public masturbation, swapping the charge out for a lesser charge, which itself was subsequently dropped.
It seems as though either his esteemed membership in the local Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence group or his being the wife or husband (I’m not sure how that works) of a wealthy local may have had a role to play, tipping the scales of justice in Clinton’s favor.
The net effect of this decision is precedent and future court cases involving indecent exposure can reference back to this decision and potentially render similar results. If you don’t believe me, a quick glance over the following historical cases might be a good refresher. Here is a list of some notable cases from different legal domains that have had a significant impact on the development of the law:
Notable Court Cases that Shaped the Law
- Marbury v. Madison (1803): This landmark Supreme Court case established the principle of judicial review, giving the court the power to declare laws unconstitutional.
- Brown v. Board of Education (1954): This case declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional, leading to the desegregation of schools in the United States.
- Plessy v. Ferguson (1896): While not setting a positive precedent, it established the “separate but equal” doctrine, allowing racial segregation in public facilities. This was later overturned by Brown v. Board of Education.
- Roe v. Wade (1973): This case established a woman’s legal right to have an abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This decision was later effectively overturned by a subsequent ruling placing the power at the state level.
- Miranda v. Arizona (1966): This case led to the requirement that law enforcement officers must inform arrested individuals of their constitutional rights, known as the Miranda warning.
- Gideon v. Wainwright (1963): This case established the right to legal counsel for indigent
defendants, ensuring that even those who couldn’t afford an attorney would receive representation.
- Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969): This case upheld the right of students to free speech in public schools, setting important precedents for student rights.
- New York Times Co. v. United States (1971): Often referred to as the “Pentagon Papers” case, it upheld the freedom of the press, preventing prior restraint by the government in publishing classified documents.
- Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857): This case is infamous for declaring that African Americans, whether enslaved or free, could not be considered American citizens, setting the stage for the American Civil War.
- Mapp v. Ohio (1961): This case established the exclusionary rule, which prevents illegally obtained evidence from being used in court.
- United States v. Nixon (1974): This case led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon and established that even the President is not above the law, affirming the principle of executive privilege.
- Griswold v. Connecticut (1965): This case recognized a constitutional right to privacy and overturned a state law that prohibited the use of contraceptives, setting the stage for later cases involving reproductive rights.
These cases have had a significant impact on the development of U.S. law, but there are many more examples from other countries and legal systems that have set important legal precedents. Legal history is rich and complex, with cases which have shaped the course of jurisprudence in various ways. According to the recent John Chiv post cited above, “Gilmore was arrested by HCSO for PC 314,” and that he, “was arrested at a turnout in the area of South Jetty Road/Table Bluff Road in Loleta, following complaints of indecent exposure.” The definition of PC 314 Indecent Exposure is as follows:
PC 314 Indecent Exposure Law
Every person who willfully and lewdly, either:
- Exposes his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby; or,
- Procures, counsels, or assists any person so to expose himself or take part in any model artist exhibition, or to make any other exhibition of himself to public view, or the view of any number of persons, such as is offensive to decency, or is adapted to excite to vicious or lewd thoughts or acts,
is guilty of a misdemeanor. Indecent exposure is generally prosecuted as a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 6 months in county jail as well as a 10-year sex offender registration requirement.
PC647 Lewd Conduct in Public Law
What Clinton was finally charged with was Penal Code § PC 647 Lewd Conduct in Public. This is defined as touching your own or another person’s genitals, buttocks, or female breast, for sexual gratification, when you know or should know there are other people present who would be offended by it.
It is also a crime to solicit lewd conduct in public. A conviction is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fines of up to $1000.00.
Sex offender registration is not required.
It appears as though Clinton was afforded some pretty amazing favors here, avoiding both Sex Offender registration for potentially 10 years, up to 6 months in jail, and a potential $1000 fine. It makes me wonder what other penal codes can be swept aside in Humboldt County and what it takes to become one of the selected classes who enjoy such privilege. While the rest of us in Humboldt County think about this and contemplate the next public place we will be subjected to others who plan to strip down nude for a whacking with the dawn of a new liberty upon them, let us not forget the sacrifices of Clinton Ellis-Gilmore who pioneered this brave new era of punishment free public masturbation …