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Wash. college OK's exposure of young girls to naked man

College points to non-discrimination policy, local district attorney won’t enforce indecent exposure law

Thursday, Nov 1, 2012

Attorney sound bite:  David Hacker

45-year-old male student Colleen Francis, who has been using the women's locker room at Evergreen State University (KIRO TV)
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to Washington’s Evergreen State College Thursday after college officials claimed that its non-discrimination policy doesn’t allow the school to stop a man from exposing himself to girls as young as six years old in a women’s locker room. A local district attorney has also stated that he doesn’t plan to enforce the state’s indecent exposure statute to protect the girls.

The 45-year-old male student, who dresses as a woman and goes by the name Colleen Francis, undressed and exposed his male genitalia on several occasions in the presence of young girls who use the college’s locker rooms. Students from Olympia High School and children in the Evergreen Swim Club and Aquatics Academy share use of the locker rooms with the college. Rather than prevent the man from using the locker room, the school has installed curtains and asked the girls to change behind them.

“Little girls should not be exposed to naked men, period. A college’s notions about ‘non-discrimination’ don’t change that,” said Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “The idea that the college and the local district attorney will not act to protect young girls is appalling. What Americans are seeing here is the poisoned fruit of so-called ‘non-discrimination’ laws and policies. Placing this man’s proclivities ahead of protecting little girls is beyond unacceptable.”

According to a police report, the local district attorney will likely not pursue charges because he claims “the criminal law is very vague in this area”; however, the state’s indecent exposure statute clearly states, “A person is guilty of indecent exposure if he or she intentionally makes any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the person of another knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm.”

The problem of men using the women’s locker room has gone on for many years at the college, and the Alliance Defending Freedom letter explains that Evergreen State College and its employees could be held liable for damages if any harm befalls any of the young girls.

“Clearly, allowing a person who is biologically a man to undress and expose himself to young girls places those girls at risk for emotional distress and harm,” the letter states. “Any reasonable person would view this as dangerous to the young girls involved. The fact that this individual was sitting in plain view of young girls changing into their swimsuits puts you and Evergreen on notice of possible future harm. Moreover, Evergreen’s recent installation of curtains…does not solve the problem. Evergreen continues to allow Francis, and apparently any man who claims to be a woman, to use its women’s locker room and expose himself to minors without restraint. The parents who contacted us are concerned for the safety of their children.”
Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund) is an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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