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by
Michele Catalano

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October 25, 2009 - 12:00 am
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What if the tables were turned? What if Williamson were a woman and a man walked by the house instead of a woman? What if that man happened to look into the window, staring long enough to see that the woman inside was naked? Would he call the cops to say he was flashed? Probably not, because he would end up in handcuffs for being a peeping Tom. A woman looks in on a naked man and thinks he is committing a crime. A man looks in on a naked woman and she thinks he is committing a crime. Weird how that works.

So now Eric Williamson is branded a criminal, a pervert, a flasher. Even if he did walk to another window as the mother was walking, the mother was trespassing. She had no right to expect that she would be shielded from anything going on in the house, nor did she have any right to be close enough to the window to look in on a man making coffee.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will the charges be dropped? Or will the police department turn this into a witch hunt and continue to pursue every angle so as to save face for making such a big deal over it in the first place?

Whatever happens, there is certainly a lesson to be learned from this incident. Don’t assume that being in the privacy of your own home means you are really alone. Got a window in your shower? Board it up before some kid chasing a ball through your yard decides to look into your bathroom. Plan on getting drunk during the Super Bowl? Close those curtains or a neighbor taking a stroll through your yard might look in and have you charged with public drunkenness.

Before you engage in any dirty dancing or drunken revelry, remember Eric Williamson. It could happen to you.

Unless you’re female, of course. In that case, the burden is on the person looking in.

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Michele Catalano lives, writes, and takes photographs on Long Island.
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