Indecent Sexual Exposure

Indecent Sexual Exposure

Recently a  man who was charged with exposing himself in a manner of sexually harassing a foreign woman was discharged from the case by the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court due to the weak prosecution case, which proceeded in some instances without the virtual complainant giving evidence.

This is what the Daily Mirror had to say about the case :

The Thalangama Police filed a charge sheet against the accused, alleging sexual harassment of the foreign woman through indecent exposure under Section 345 of the Penal Code. The complainant woman claimed that the driver had exposed himself to her while he was driving a vehicle at a slow speed and she had been humiliated by the incident.

Police arrested the accused and produced him before court and was subsequently granted bail.

The case proceeded for a considerable time, during which the foreign woman intermittently attended court on certain dates. However, at the final stage, she was missing.

The police officer from Thalangama Police Station gave evidence, and during cross-examination Senior Counsel Ian Fernando asked a few questions, including whether the charge sheet included a date for the alleged offense. The police officer responded negatively. When questioned on whether the charge sheet detailed how the sexual harassment had occurred, the witness provided a vague answer without substantiating the evidence.

After considering the evidence the Magistrate determined that the police had not sufficiently proved the case, and accordingly, the accused was discharged.

Senior Counsel Ian Fernando with Malsha Wijerathne and Hasith Liyanage appeared for the accused.

Section 345 states that “Whoever, by assault or use of criminal force, sexually harasses another person, or by the use of words or actions, causes sexual annoyance or harassment to such other person commits the offence of sexual harassment and shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years or with fine or with both and may also be ordered to pay compensation of an amount determined by court to the person in respect of whom the offence was committed for the injuries caused to such person”.

According to this section, unwelcome sexual advances by words or action used by a person in authority, to a working place or any other place, should constitute the offence of sexual harassment.

Lanka news line discussed the case with six women  and this is what they had to say had to say : 

Malsha Srimathi Athukorala (43) Company Sectary   ” Indecent exposure in public places is almost a daily occurrence and I just move on because there  is no decent way to deal with the issue. The only way out is to have your own transport and I cant afford that”.

Sumudu Nirasha Gunawardana (33 ) University lecture  in Criminology “very true , when it comes to prosecution it is very rarely that the police could get a  conviction. This is because you need a special training to gather information and present the case because you need substantial evidence to prove the case and as  how our judicial system operates it take a very long time to finish the case and the complainant is traumatised by the end of the case”.

Smanthi Swarna (44) Graphic Designer ” A week  ago while  I was with my daughter  at the Galle  Face green and man who approached us indecently exposed him self and we altered the three wheel drivers close by and they were very supportive and chased the man away .

Madurani Selva Nesan (28 ) Accounts Executive  ” While driving another driver at the wheel indecently exposed himself and got my attention by horning as I got close to a traffic light was able to speak to a Police officer  and complained and he chased the car and got hold oof the driver and I missed what happened next”

Babra Ruskin Vanarkadie (53 ) Music Teacher ” Never met these show men who are much talked about but I f I meet one I know what to do ”

Sanduni Rasdara Sethunga  (31) Receptionist * Believe me there are men who come to the hotel reception and indecently expose them ,know very well that the place is covered with CCTV . I have faced so many incidents and just learned to ignore .I don’t feel angry any more these people are losers”





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