Rochester's Channel 13 WHAM is reporting today that Ashton Broyld has rejected a plea deal offered to him by prosecutors to resolve the pending charge of public lewdness against him. It appears he had been offered to plead guilty to Exposure of a Person, a violation level offense, in satisfaction of the Public Lewdness charge, a Class B misdemeanor.
My instant analysis? Broyld was looking to plead guilty to a violation-level offense, i.e. Disorderly Conduct. Instead, the prosecutor wanted a plea to Exposure instead. Both are violations and both carry the same penalties -- up to 15 days in jail, up to $250 fine -- but more likely a conditional discharge and a fine. So if the penalties are the same, then aren't we just splitting hairs as to what charge he actually pleads to? Well, not really. When you plead guilty to something, you usually have to admit to the actual conduct that is the basis for the crime. If Broyld is denying that he ever exposed himself, then he surely wouldn't plead guilty to a charge describing that conduct. Rather, by pleading guilty to Disorderly Conduct, he can admit that he engaged in conduct that caused a public annoyance, inconvenience, or alarm -- simply swearing at or making offensive gestures to the opposing fans.
In all actuality, the two sides aren't that far off. Both sides want a plea to a violation. I assume both sides are in agreement on no jail. From the prosecutor's perspective, if they can get a plea to Disorderly Conduct, they get their conviction. If I'm the DA, I don't push the Exposure charge too far -- I take my conviction when I can get it. We'll see where this case goes in the coming weeks, but I still predict, as I did in this March 30 posting, that DisCon is where we're going.