He Said “Touchy”

As the Grand Junction Sentinel reports:

Masturbating in public should be more than just a petty offense, Rep. Steve King said Wednesday.

That’s why the Grand Junction Republican introduced a bill into the Colorado Legislature to make the law clear when a person should be charged with public indecency.

King, who said the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council approached him about the matter, said the point behind the measure is to distinguish public indecency from other crimes that are not sexual in nature, such as streaking or urinating in public…

King said he knows he’s likely to be the brunt of numerous jokes around the statehouse, but public indecency is a serious subject.

“This is a touchy subject,” King said, laughing at his unintended pun. “Because of a focus on sexual crimes of children, it’s important to get the law right. But those who make the bad choice of urinating in public in an alley after a night of drinking, that’s not a sexual crime, and people shouldn’t be charged that way.”

Joking aside for just a moment, Rep. Steve King is right that more clearly sexual offenses in public should be handled differently from, for example, Boulder’s annual Pumpkin Run or Sen. Shawn Mitchell’s high school indiscretions. And with that, we’re back to the joking.

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  1. redstateblues says:

    I may not have a very high opinion of King as a legislator, but I think he’s right on this issue. People shouldn’t be put on the sexual offenders registry for getting caught relieving themselves in park–is it disgusting? No doubt. But it doesn’t warrant being put on the same list as child rapists.

    Okay, back to the jokes: if public masturbation becomes a felony, won’t all the bloggers have to retire?

  2. BlueCat says:

    you know, adjusting?

  3. SSG_Dan says:

    …because he bailed from the Vets Court Bill committee as soon as he got to ask one stupid question.  

  4. gertie97 says:

    “King seeks stiffer penalty for lewdness.”

  5. Dan WillisDan Willis says:

    Masturbating in public should be more than just a petty offense

    I’m a little dyslexic and first thought this said masturbating should be a “petting” offense.

    But all jokes aside, I hope this bill goes through. People urinating or simply sunbathing should not be in the same category with sexual predators.

    It may have been more efficient to include this in a general criminal law clarification bill with other topics, but that would be nit-picking.

    • WesternSlopeThought says:

      I’m still not sure how many shakes you get.

    • pat steadman says:

      Ever since the year I “hi-jacked” the DA Council’s omnibus criminal law bill with the addition of hate crimes protections for LGBT and people with disabilities they now bring discrete, single topic bills with tight titles.  

      I’m the Senate sponsor of this bill with Rep. King, and it does fix some things in current law that miss the target.  “Streaking” or getting caught urinating in public should not result in a requirement to register as a sex offender, but that can happen under current law, while we miss those with more sinister intentions.  

      I’m fully aware of the snickers and jokes people will make about this bill, but it’s a needed solution.  

      http://bit.ly/b5pMEC

      • Ralphie says:

        King has five bills.  He chose to carry this one.

        If you’re going to defend the bill, please tell my why it’s more important to District 54 than, say, jobs.

        • Dan WillisDan Willis says:

          I have no idea why Rep. King chose to carry this bill as one of his five. Who knows, maybe the DA in his area asked him to. Maybe there was a case in his district that showed the need for it. Maybe he got caught peeing in some not-entirely-private bushes. I simply don’t know.

          Supporting a bill because it is good for the state as a whole is what I would expect of my legislator. If it benefits the whole state then that includes my district, and yours.

          The job of the legislators is to address every issue that needs addressed, not just the headline items of the day. That means someone has to take up the smaller issues too.

  6. parsingreality says:

    May I watch?

    Ouch, ouch, ouch……

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