Houman Fakhimi

Retired Huntington Park Police Chief Gets Sweet Deal in Lewd Photos Case

A retired police chief from Huntington Park recently worked out a plea deal that will keep him out of jail and keep him from having to register as a sex offender after exposing himself to women and leaving lewd photos of himself on hiking trails in Anaheim, The Orange County Register reports.

Sex crimes in Anaheim can range from what most people think of -- sexual assaults, rapes and groping -- to actions of a sexual nature, such as exposing oneself in public, peeping and other crimes. While the more serious crimes can result in serious prison time, sometimes decades, one consequence some people don't think of is having to register as a sex offender for life.

Anaheim Criminal Defense Lawyers have seen many cases where those who commit minor or inadvertent crimes are subjected to the same requirement as a predator who sexually assaulted a child. It is our goal in cases like this to convince prosecutors through the evidence and the character of the defendant.

According to the newspaper report, the former police chief, 56, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of prowling and one count of vehicle tampering. He will have to spend three years on probation, do 150 hours of community service and pay $176 in fees. His firearms were confiscated but will be returned upon completion of his probation.

According to police, the first incident involving the man happened last fall, when a woman found a photograph of male genitalia near a running trail at Oak Canyon Road. The woman had seen similar photos of male and female genitalia in the area, but hadn't called police.

A few weeks later, a man exposed himself to a woman hiking on a trial near Toyon Park. A few days after that, a group of women reported returning to their cars to find photos of male genitalia on the windshields of their cars. A fingerprint on one of the photos and a description of the man who exposed himself led detectives to the retired police chief, who was working in Kosovo to improve security for the police department there when a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Along with jail or prison time, which likely would have been troublesome for the ex-police chief, he also avoided having to register as a sex offender. Megan's Law in California requires the public have Internet access to detailed information on registered sex offenders. So, anyone in California can see where registered sex offenders are living, what they look like and other details on the California Department of Justice web site.

Many believe this is a powerful tool for people to keep their children safe and even a deterrent for those who may consider committing a sex crime, but it also can be unfair to some people convicted of sex-related crimes.

As stated before, people can be charged with sex crimes that aren't nearly as serious as others, such as statutory rape in Orange County. While statutory rape, having consensual sex with a person under 18, doesn't generally require registering as a sex offender, it can. California Penal Code 290 lays out which offenses a person must be convicted of to register as a sex offender.

Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyers are committed to standing beside our clients, regardless of the circumstances. We will provide defendants will sound legal advice and vigorous criminal defense representation if charged with a sex crime.

Contact an Orange County criminal defense attorney at (714) 705-6701 as soon as possible if you are charged with a crime.

Additional Resources

Ex-police chief gets deal in lewd trail photos case, by Denisse Salazar, The Orange County Register.