Local women want Facebook flasher stopped, but investigators say it is legal

Posted at 6:49 PM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 12:50:20-04

Update: The man facing charges for indecent exposure reached out to Seven Action News after the story aired.  He denies the allegations he exposed himself to a school bus. He says there may have been a misunderstanding because he was outside working on his truck and decided to urinate behind the vehicle. He says hackers or a thief who stole a phone 7 months ago must be responsible for the pictures.

If someone flashes you in public it is illegal, but if they virtually flash you by sending explicit unsolicited pictures it is legal.  After hearing about the investigation underway in Oakland County, some people say that needs to change.

It happened Friday. A school bus driver reported seeing a 31-year-old man standing naked in the doorway of this building on Grand River in New Hudson. Fortunately no children were on the bus to see him.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office says 31-year old Beau McNeil who lives in this commercial building where it happened was arraigned on an indecent exposure charges. 

“Knowing that I have a son in elementary school that could have been exposed to this, it is disturbing,” said Jeff Douglas.

This dad was angry. Not only because his son could have been on that bus, but he says this could have been prevented. He says the man has exposed himself before.

“Months ago I went to the police on this and learned there is nothing that can be done,” said Douglas.

Why? It didn’t happen in person. The man allegedly sent explicit unsolicited messages on Facebook to Jeffrey Douglas’s wife and numerous other women.

“The first one that comes through is, ‘Hey.’ And then bam. There are the genitals,” said Douglas.

It also happened to Tara Arney.

“I don’t want someone to expose themselves to me in person, on Facebook, or in text. I don’t think there is any difference whatsoever,” said Arney.

After she complained about getting explicit photos more than a dozen other women from the South Lyon area said they were victims too. Tara went to the police.  They told her sexting is legal.

She says this wasn’t what she would call sexting.  It was a virtual flashing out of nowhere.
We knocked on McNeil’s door to get his side of the story, but he didn’t answer.

“This just opens the floodgates for people to be able to expose themselves and not have fear.  It should change some laws,” said Arney.

Investigators say if you are a victim of such a message- don’t delete it.  Respond saying you don’t want any more.  Then if the pictures continue there could be a harassment charge.