BATTLE CREEK, MICH. - A judge on Friday dismissed charges against Anthony Bicknell who was found last month naked and masturbating in a women's bathroom.
In a one-page written opinion, Calhoun County District Judge Frank Line said he didn't find the elements of the crime were met and he dismissed the complaint.
Bicknell, 35, was charged with indecent exposure after an employee at Ollie's Bargain Outlet at 100 S. 20th St., said she opened a stall door in the women's bathroom on Aug. 12 and found him masturbating and only wearing sunglasses.
The employee, Karen Walters, testified at a preliminary examination on Wednesday that she was using the bathroom when she heard a noise in the next stall. She said the door was closed and she opened it and found Bicknell.
She told him to leave and she walked out of the bathroom. She said he came out wearing clothes a few minutes later and left the store.
Bicknell was charged as being a sexually delinquent person and could have been sentenced to one day to life in prison.
After hearing testimony, Assistant Prosecutor Amber Straub amended the charge against Bicknell to fondling his genitalia in public.
Bicknell's attorney, Ronald Pichlik argued against sending the case to circuit court for trial. He said Walters only saw what Bicknell was doing when she opened the door and that Bicknell was not exposing himself in public.
"In reviewing the statutes," he wrote, "this Court finds that Defendant was fondling himself in the women's stall but this was inside the stall and not a public place. The testimony indicated that Karen Walters initiated the contact by opening a closed door. This does not rise to a public display and does not rise to a knowing exposure of Defendant's person."
In August Bicknell was sentenced to six months of probation after pleading guilty to exposing himself in Cirilla's, an adult entertainment store at 2245 W. Columbia Ave. on April 19. As part of that plea, charges of indecent exposure at Meijer Inc., 2191 W. Columbia Ave. on April 27 were dismissed. A woman in a bathroom there said Bicknell emerged from a stall wearing just a pink thong.
He served 15 days in jail after pleading guilty early this year to indecent exposure after police said he removed his pants and coat and was naked from the waist down in the adult video room of Family Video at 890 W. Columbia Ave. on Feb. 9.
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