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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mannequin Fucker Cleared

posted by on November 13 at 10:42 AM


If you have sex with a mannequin—or “simulate sex” with a mannequin—behind a closed door, all by yourself, all by your lonesome, and a guard walks in and finds you humping that mannequin but doesn’t actually see your genitals, only you “adjusting yourself,” are you guilty of “indecent exposure”? Should you be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life?

A magistrate in South Dakota thought so and found Michael James Plenty Horse guilty of indecent exposure. A circuit court upheld the conviction. But today the South Dakota State Supreme Court ruled that Plenty Horse, though plenty kinky (sorry), wasn’t guilty of indecent exposure, which “criminalizes sexual gratification by displaying or showing one’s genitals in public,” and overturned Plenty Horse’s conviction.

If the court hadn’t have tossed out his conviction, the “offender,” who was just 19 at the time of the “crime,” would have had to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life—which would have made it impossible for Plenty Horse to find a place to live or a job for the rest of his life.

The abuse of sex offender registries is an outrage. Originally created to alert people to the presence of dangerous sexual predators, sex offender registries increasingly sweep up people only “guilty” of being a little bit kinky, a little bit crazy, or a little bit of both—but not a danger to anyone. To be placed on a sex offender registry is to be suffer a social execution. And unless someone is a sexual predator and actually a danger to others—other human beings, thank you—placing him or her on a sex offender registry has to amount to an unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.

Via Pandagon.

RSS icon Comments


I think Plenty Horse is an American hero.

Posted by Carol Weymiller | November 13, 2007 10:49 AM

agreed. shouldn't jail time be enough punishment? if not, then keep them locked up!

...and why no murderer registry? i personally would rather know if i was living next door to a murderer than a sex offender.

Posted by brandon | November 13, 2007 10:50 AM

....i agree with dan. not carol.

Posted by brandon | November 13, 2007 10:51 AM

Maybe these people should 'take up' with various inanimate objects in their HOME, where guards and all other potential onlookers are far far away. Draw the curtains, turn up the music and do your... thing.

Posted by Amelia | November 13, 2007 10:58 AM

Perhaps, Amelia. He was a very naughty boy, shouldn't have done that, wasn't prudent. But he wasn't guilty of indecent exposure and should not have been threatened with sex offender status regardless. Wouldn't you agree?

Posted by Dan Savage | November 13, 2007 11:00 AM

Depends on what kind of 'closed door' it was.

Posted by Amelia | November 13, 2007 11:05 AM

So... Amelia... you believe that the size, shape, and location of that closed door is material? And that man who didn't expose himself to anyone -- no one saw his cock, he didn't set out to show anyone his cock -- is guilty of indecent exposure based on some value judgment about the door? And that this man -- who didn't expose himself to anyone -- belongs on a sex offender registry for the rest of his life?

Because... why? Because you think what he did was icky?

Posted by Dan Savage | November 13, 2007 11:11 AM

Those mannequin are H-O-T HOT!

The slutty one with the red hair is asking for it!

Posted by six shooter | November 13, 2007 11:11 AM

I support registries for real sex offenders. At a minimum, single parents and businesses and non-profits dealing with children have a right to be able to search the registry as they see fit. But this abuse of the registries really pisses me off. For one thing, it increases the likelihood that courts will toss out the registries completely.

Posted by keshmeshi | November 13, 2007 11:12 AM

If the government is allowed to listen to my phone conversations, am I guilty of indecent exposure if I have kinky phone sex and someone overhears me?

Even if my door is closed?

Posted by six shooter | November 13, 2007 11:14 AM

Ok, so I'm all over the place on this...

1. I agree with Amelia that people that like to F mannequins should F them in the shitty one bedroom apartments.

2. I agree with Dan that F-ing a mannequin is hardly bad enough to be put on a list (forever) that warns people that a child rapist may be nearby.

3. everytime I read The Slog, I'm reminded of how vanilla my sexual fantasies are. I've never even though about F-ing a mannequin. Maybe one of those Real Dolls, but a mannequin?

Posted by Mike in MO | November 13, 2007 11:19 AM

Stop putting words in my mouth. So I take it the guy- behind some mysterious closed door- brought out his mannequin, unzipped his pants, pulled out his you-know-what, and saddled up for a ride? Kinky, yes. Icky, not really.

Yes! The size, shape and location of that door matters! Was he doing it in a public restroom? Perhaps it was a woman's restroom. Maybe he wanted to get caught. We'll never know.

The fact remains: it wasn't his house and that activity did not belong there.

Not a sex offender, but definitely indecent and should suffer retribution for his actions. Blame my Christian upbringing.

Posted by Amelia | November 13, 2007 11:24 AM

There were many concerns along these lines when all this was being set up.

Cops and prosecutors cannot resist. So three strike and you are out becomes involved with minor crime, and repeat offenses mean life in jail.

Sex offender lists involves voyeurs, masturbation, playing doctor, kinks, kid stuff, simple exposure, and really has nothing to do with child rapists.

Beware, if you think the world is liberated and thinking.

Amelia, you are a stupid cow cunt. Why do you care if a horny male is humping the couch, door jam, his hand or the cardboard box the computer came in?

Posted by Leyland | November 13, 2007 11:30 AM

I think the dude has suffered enough at this point, Amelia. As for location: he was in a store, on a closed floor, just past closing time. Icky, yes, presumptuous, yes, rude to the owner of the store but a danger to no one. There are times when the right response to sexually inappropriate behavior is, "Hey you, knock that shit off!" Send the teenager -- he was a teenager! -- running, and running scared. Don't call the fucking cops. Sheesh.

Posted by Dan Savage | November 13, 2007 11:31 AM

I truly think the sex offender registries should be confined to those likely to cause harm to others. Mannequins are inanimate (I know, big newsflash there). As such, they cannot be crime victims; they cannot be harmed. If he gets spuzz on a mannequin, he can be found guilty of property damage, but not a sex crime. Just because it involved his getting his rocks off in a way many of us find rather unappealing, that doesn't make him a danger to others.

Posted by Geni | November 13, 2007 11:32 AM

@15: Agreed. The possibility of harm to others is a crucial part of the definition of "sex offender." What this guy did was distasteful and probably unsanitary, but hardly dangerous.

Posted by Gloria | November 13, 2007 11:35 AM

Dan's right. These registries should be for serious offenders. Jesus. That aside, my birthday's coming up on Friday!

Posted by Michigan Matt | November 13, 2007 11:36 AM

If I get a boner in the public library while looking at cute girl in BUST magazine, does it make me a sexual predator if it gets noticed?

Posted by what if | November 13, 2007 11:36 AM

I never said or implied he was dangerous and/or a predator. But pardon me if I won't be inviting him over for tea anytime soon. That is all.

Posted by Amelia | November 13, 2007 11:44 AM

Jeez, I've done worse than this! What a joke.

Posted by Irena | November 13, 2007 11:45 AM

@18: Yes, because that makes you a pseudo-feminist asshole. Nothing about BUST is funny or arousing in any way. It is DEADLY SERIOUS.

Posted by Greg | November 13, 2007 11:48 AM

Consider this: if he had been caught having sex with a real woman, even caught in the act of sex with his genitals fully exposed to the guard's poor, poor virgin eyes, he would not have been threatened with the sex offender list. Possibly not even arrested.

Posted by Greg | November 13, 2007 11:52 AM

Jeffrey Dahmer used to sleep with a mannequin at his mother's house in the basement. Hmmmmmmm.

Posted by Chad | November 13, 2007 12:01 PM

@ 22, that's an excellent point.

Posted by arduous | November 13, 2007 12:02 PM

Oops. Grandmother's house.

Posted by Chad | November 13, 2007 12:03 PM

@ 18

Point taken Greg, what if I'm reading Highlights instead?

Posted by what if | November 13, 2007 12:05 PM

@26: Then you are one creepy, creepy motherfucker.

Posted by Greg | November 13, 2007 12:11 PM

Here's the problem, Amelia: Because you think what this guy did was icky (and maybe it was), you have a hard time recognizing the injustice that was done to this teenager. People here about him and say, "Oh, that was gross!", and then shrug off his conviction and his being placed on a sex offender registry for the rest of his life. Because what he did was, you know, gross.

The attitude: "Why should I care? My sexual interests aren't gross."

Here's why you should care: because what if it was your son? Or your husband? Or someone close to you? You can't say that none of your relatives or friends would do that sort of thing. Because you don't know. And if your kid or your husband is swept onto a sex offender registry for doing something "icky," Amelia, it's going to destroy your life too.

Frankly, I worry for my son. I did crazy stuff when I was a horny teenager -- oh, the inappropriate places I masturbated. In trees where I thought I couldn't be seen, on railroad tressels (sp?), behind closed doors in empty classrooms. I never got caught but if I had I would've been reported to my parents, maybe, and humiliated and embarrassed. I wouldn't have been arrested, prosecuted, and placed on a sex offender registry for the rest of my life.

Posted by Dan Savage | November 13, 2007 12:17 PM

"You can't say that none of your relatives or friends would do that sort of thing. Because you don't know."

Actually, I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that she CAN say that. I'm also going to blame it on her Christian upbringing.

Posted by Wowza | November 13, 2007 12:33 PM



@ Amelia

Check yo' e-mail, gurl.

Posted by Mr. Poe | November 13, 2007 12:37 PM

Well at least this guy's kink seems a lot more reasonable than the guy who got caught fucking the bike.

Posted by chi type | November 13, 2007 12:37 PM

It seems ridiculous to me that anybody would have ever considered putting him on a sex offender list. I can't follow the logic of that! Who did he offend? It's a bunch of plastic and not real.
Indecent exposure maybe but sex offender absolutely not.
This kid needed a slap on the hand and a lesson in manners like, don't hump the mannequins dear!
I would be horrified if my son was caught in public going at it with a mannequin and I think he would be equally embarrassed for being caught and that is punishment enough. To be labeled a sex offender for humping plastic is just wrong!
Those mannequins are kind of hot though.

Posted by mj | November 13, 2007 12:46 PM

Perhaps the State of South Dakota should simply outlaw all sex acts. Eventually, the entire population could finally be secure in their gray, dessicated lives, watching Lawrence Welk reruns, with no need to update their sex offender registry, because there wouldn't be a single young person in the entire state to disturb their peace.

Posted by kk | November 13, 2007 12:47 PM

something else to take into consideration is that this man was native and this is south dakota. the initial ruling may (or may not, who knows) have had more to do with his race than his act.

Posted by Jiberish | November 13, 2007 12:49 PM

Ummm . . . .ouch?

Posted by MN Gay Dude | November 13, 2007 12:52 PM

This entire conversation is ridiculous. Amelia, you're either a concern troll, or a very sexually repressed young woman.

The guy was essentially playing with a sex toy in a quasi-public area. Tacky? yes. If there were a tacky sexophile list, I'd be all for him being registered there. But there's not. If there were, I'd probably be on it myself.

Sex offender lists should be for those people who actually offend. You can't offend a manequin. I know - I've tried. (but not in a dirty sense. really)

I bet you that things like this happen at the Bon Marche and Nordstom every day.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | November 13, 2007 1:09 PM

Can that guy who got in trouble with the bike use this to get his conviction overturned?

Posted by Hmmmm | November 13, 2007 1:15 PM

@9: Businesses and non-profits who are at risk of hiring someone with a sex offender background usually have the ability to look at a candidates criminal record on a background check. Shouldn't be a need to check a registry. Those registries exist for the panicked among us who don't have access to background checks and want a short cut to checking everyone they possibly come in contact with.

Maybe it's that I read Naomi Wolf's piece posted last week, but the Sex Offender Registry seems a lot like the gov't terrorist watch lists - almost arbitrary, fucks up your life, and you can never be removed. And sure, maybe they prevent a handful of people from being future victims but they don't protect everyone, and they are also cruel and unusual punishment because we don't treat any other ex-cons this way. With other crimes, you do your time and you can start over. But if it involves your dick, you've screwed yourself forever (Hey Dan - how many women are on these registries anyway?).

Posted by amy! | November 13, 2007 1:16 PM

@32 - I think part of the problem - a LARGE part of the problem - is that, in many jurisdictions, indecent exposure will get you put on the sex offender list. The presumption apparently being that those who wag their willies are likely to progress to more serious crimes. I do not know that such a correlation has ever been proven.

Plus, there is willy-wagging and then there's willy-wagging. If you're standing outside the fence at the local elementary school during recess and waving it at the kiddies, then, yeah, you're a twisted fuck and probably causing some of the kids some emotional anguish and fear. But simply being caught with it out of your pants in what you had presumed was at least temporary privacy? Not at all the same thing, not to my mind. But either one can be classed as "indecent exposure" and get you on the registry. The first willy-wagger probably belongs on the registry. The second? Uh, not so much.

Posted by Geni | November 13, 2007 1:24 PM

Amelia, you're either a concern troll, or a very sexually repressed young woman.

Please let it be neither.

Also, people, easy up on Amelia. As she has stated and repeated, no one thinks the mannequin F-er deserves to be on a SORL. She just thinks it is icky and won't invite any mannequin F-ers to tea. Not the same things...

Posted by Mike in MO | November 13, 2007 1:48 PM

@ 39 Willy Wagging... That word cracks me up.

Once we had a flasher around the neighborhood scaring our female students to death! I talked to the police and the guy told me that most of the time these guys are harmless and they never escalate into anything dangerous.
They are excited by exposing themselves and getting a reaction and not so interested in touching or being physically aggressive.
I'm sure you're right though just the willy wagging probably does get you on a sex offenders list!

Posted by mj | November 13, 2007 1:54 PM

Amelia, at least you are confident enough to say what you think!

Posted by mj | November 13, 2007 1:58 PM

@42: So is everyone else..?

Posted by Gloria | November 13, 2007 2:03 PM

@43, yeah, but no one else today called called a "stupid cow cunt" for daring to express their opinion.

Posted by laurel | November 13, 2007 2:16 PM

"got" called, I meant.

Posted by laurel | November 13, 2007 2:17 PM

As a (former) South Dakotan, I don't know whether to be proud that he was exonerated, or embarassed that he needed to be in the firsst place.

I think I'll just go with the usual proud-I-got-the-fuck-out-of-there.

Posted by Ben | November 13, 2007 2:23 PM


OK, but I still believe that single parents who are dating should have the right to check the registry for their new boyfriends/girlfriends, not to mention that parents should be able to search for their new non-agency babysitter.

Posted by keshmeshi | November 13, 2007 2:31 PM

@44: Yeah, but no one else must be used to it by now. Saying someone is brave for uttering their opinion, especially on the internet (where someone, in every place, will be an asshole to you), is just such a terribly empty compliment.

I'd rather congratulate Amelia for her consistent ability to rile people up and bring out the worst insults in them. *That's* a true ability.

Posted by Gloria | November 13, 2007 3:12 PM

With a name like "Plenty Horse" maybe it was difficult to keep his genitals hidden.

Posted by Bont | November 13, 2007 3:23 PM

Bont, at least you are confident enough to say what you think!

Posted by Irena | November 13, 2007 3:30 PM

An acquaintance of mine is on the list because he succumbed when a girl underaged by only two months offered to succumb. Now he can neither vote nor own firearms.

Posted by nearest pervert is two blocks away | November 13, 2007 3:47 PM

@37: The bike fucker was a Brit, so no.

Posted by Caya | November 13, 2007 4:02 PM

@ 33, to add on to 33 . . . .

wasn't south dakota also the state where abortion was outlawed (save for the life of the mother and one or two other exceptions)? yeah, talking about states w/ sexual repression issues . . . .

Posted by from east of miss | November 13, 2007 4:04 PM

The boy - yes, BOY - was caught in the Alumni Room of the Washington Pavillion, not a shopping center but a performing arts center, which was on the verge of closing for the day. This child was behind a closed door but it was a door in a public space. That being said, I wholeheartedly agree with Dan that he should have been scared away from the building by that guard, period. Guaranteed he never would have done *that* again, and the guard would have had an uproarious story to tell his pals and family over beers.

The sex offender registry is NOT for 19-y-o children who get caught humping a damned mannequin behind a closed door. But because of the sweeping and out-of-control guidelines, he was at risk of losing a huge portion of his life because someone (almost) saw his willy. My poor, stupid brother is on the registry because he has a tendency to masturbate in his vehicle in dark parking lots during the small hours of the night - and he got caught more than once. It *has* destroyed his life. He can't find a job or a place to live or go shopping or take a walk in the park without risking going to prison - all because he likes to jack off in dark places.

I do, however, love the idea of including murderers on registry lists. How about serial DUIers too? Oh, we can't keep tabs on everyone, you say? Let's talk to the Dept. of Homeland Security about that.

Posted by OddlyEnough | November 13, 2007 4:06 PM

Perhaps he should become a Catholic priest and focus on little boys...apparently that is OK.

Posted by Joy | November 13, 2007 4:13 PM

@38 I really wasn't trying to make some deep statement by saying what I said to Amelia. It was just a dumb, empty slog comment. No conspiracies involved...
I hope it did not cross the slog etiquette boundary.

Posted by mj | November 13, 2007 4:33 PM

mj is officially the nicest person on the Slog. Hugs to you, mj!

Posted by Irena | November 13, 2007 4:50 PM

proof that women only look perfect when they're made out of plastic.

Posted by dirty girl | November 13, 2007 6:54 PM

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