The courts are struggling with how to prosecute a choir teacher who masturbated in the foyer of Walla Walla High School thinking no one could see him.

By his actions, caught on surveillance video, it is clear he was staring at specific students while he masturbated. But the school's windows are reflective, meaning people outside the locked doors can't easily see inside. This made 42-year-old Robert Dennis believe no one could see him.

That fact, says his defense attorney, means he cannot be charged with a crime. He had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

But he was seen. A girl was suspicious of a dark figure acting strangely behind the glass she she pressed her face to the window. She saw a man masturbating but did not see his face. She reported it, and that's how the school found the surveillance footage.

But the witness cannot identify the flasher as the teacher, nor does the footage confirm it was him when the student looked through the window.

Without clear proof anyone saw Mr. Dennis, or that he thought anyone could, there's no case, his lawyer argued.

The judge disagreed and will allow the case to go to trial, but it is not clear he will suffer more consequences than being fired.

 

[SOURCE: Walla Walla Union-Bulletin]