The Ninth Circuit has determined that Washington’s indecent exposure statutes are overbroad and indivisible with respect to the definition of a crime involving moral turpitude. The court noted that the Washington Supreme Court recently affirmed that nothing in the statute or these definitions of obscene and lascivious inherently requires that an exposure be committed with a sexual motive. Thus, it encompasses conduct that falls outside the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision in Matter of Cortes Medina.
The court also found that a conviction for indecent exposure to a minor under 14, even though it involved a protected class of victims (i.e., children). “[W[e have often—although not always—concluded that crimes directed towards a protected class of victims, such as children, are categorically crimes of moral turpitude. At times, however, we will encounter a statute that is simply written too broadly to capture only depraved conduct that shocks the public conscience. This is one such statute. Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.88.010(2)(b) is unusually broad: it appears that a defendant can be convicted of indecent exposure to a person under the age of fourteen even if no one witnessed the exposure, so long as the exposure took place in the presence of a child. Nor, for that matter, need the exposure have been sexually motivated.
The full text of Barrera Lima v. Sessions can be found here: