A 65 year old Pennsylvania man has been charged with criminal trespass, defiant trespass, indecent exposure and public drunkenness after he was found drunk and naked inside his neighbor’s pig barn. The natural question is why anyone would want to frolic in the nude among pigs. The man explained to Manor Township Police of Lancaster County, “I just like pigs.“
Based upon the charges, it does not appear that the man attempted to defile the pigs in any way before he was caught. If he had, I am not sure that powerful, aggressive animals like pigs would have tolerated such an affront to their dignity the way more docile animals might, but then again, I am sure this guy would know better than most how pigs would react to a naked, human intruder. Based upon media reports, the man had been previously banned from the farm for some unspecified, prior incident.
The most serious charge in this case is criminal trespass, graded as a third degree felony punishable by up to 3.5 to 7 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $15,000, but someone with no prior record or a low prior record score, could receive a sentence of probation. This version of criminal trespass entails entering a structure, such as a barn, without license or privilege to do so. Unlike burglary, a person is guilty of criminal trespass by merely entering a structure without permission, whereas a person must have the intent to commit a crime at the time of the unlawful entry in order to be guilty of the more serious charge of burglary.
Indecent exposure is a second degree misdemeanor defined as exposing the genitals in either a public place or in a place where there are persons present, who are likely to be offended, affronted or alarmed. I am sure that the pigs were offended, affronted, and alarmed, but unless they are sentient beings like Wilbur from “Charlotte’s Web” or the corrupt, revolutionary pigs from ‘”Animal Farm,” it would be hard to argue that they are “persons.” I would imagine the Commonwealth would argue that the indecent exposure charge is warranted due to the risk of a human wondering into the barn. A person convicted of indecent exposure is not required to register as a sex offender under Pennsylvania law, and pursuant to the sentencing guidelines, could receive a sentence of probation.
This is one of those crimes where the social stigma associated with the news story may be a worse penalty than any punishment imposed by the criminal justice system. I also suspect that this man may have some underlying mental health issues. Hopefully, the system can be used to get him some help.
Matt McClenahen is a criminal defense attorney in State College, Pennsylvania, home of Penn State University. http://www.mattmlaw.com/About-Attorney-McClenahen/