State v. Pugh, 244 N.C. App. 326 (Dec. 1, 2015)

(1) The trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss in this felony indecent exposure case. The evidence showed that a neighbor and her 4-year-old daughter saw the defendant masturbating in front of his garage. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that because he was on his own property he was not in a “public place” within the meaning of the statute. The court noted that prior case law has held that a public place includes one that is open to the view of the public at large. Here, the defendant’s garage was directly off a public road and was in full view from the street and from the front of his neighbor’s house. (2) Where the neighbor and her daughter saw the defendant as they exited their car, the trial court did not commit plain error by failing to instruct the jury that the defendant must have been in view of the public with the naked eye and without resort to technological aids. Even if such an instruction may be appropriate in some cases here it was wholly unsupported by the evidence.