DES MOINES – A Plymouth man convicted last year for indecent exposure lost his appeal in court this week.
Korey Allen Jurgena, age 42, appealed his conviction for two counts of indecent exposure. Jurgena claimed the district court that convicted him erred by refusing to allow him to ask the victim certain questions during trial, by refusing to allow him to introduce the video of his interview with police and by denying his motion for new trial. He also claimed the jury verdict is not supported by substantial evidence.
In upholding the conviction, the Iowa Court of Appeals concluded that Jurgena waived his first claim regarding his inability to question the victim and also concluded the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the video evidence nor was wrong in denying him a new trial.
Jurgena was charged with two counts of indecent exposure after twice exposing himself to a teenage girl. At noon on Saturday, June 2, 2012, Jurgena was in the Southbridge Mall parking lot in Mason City. At the same time, the victim was at the same mall with her grandmother. Upon returning to her vehicle to retrieve a cell phone, the victim observed Jurgena as he walked past her car. As he did so, he lowered his pants, exposing himself through sheer underwear. The victim returned to the mall, and her grandmother asked her to go back to the car to retrieve a wallet. The victim asked to stay in the mall because there was a “weird person” outside. Eventually the victim headed back to her car, and upon exiting the mall, the victim observed Jurgena for a second time. Once again, Jurgena lowered his pants, exposing himself through his sheer underwear. Upon returning to the mall, the victim informed her grandmother of what had occurred. The grandmother insisted they attempt to identify Jurgena and report the incident to police. As they exited the mall, the victim saw Jurgena again, this time clothed, and pointed him out to her grandmother. They followed Jurgena in their car, recording his license plate number and proceeding to the Mason City police station.
The police contacted Jurgena who appeared at the police station for questioning. While he was there, the victim positively identified Jurgena by the clothes he was wearing. Jurgena told the police and jury he had recently lost a significant amount of weight, was wearing oversized pants, and normally wore a belt. However, as the belt pinched him while driving, he had removed the belt to drive to the mall and did not put the belt back on when he exited his vehicle.
Before trial, the State filed a motion in limine, seeking to prevent Jurgena from asking the victim whether she thought Jurgena pulled his pants down intentionally or accidentally. The district court granted the motion, finding the victim’s opinion on the matter was irrelevant and inadmissible as it was speculative and not based upon the victim’s personal knowledge or observation. Jurgena also asked to introduce a video of his questioning by police, during which he claimed his pants fell down accidentally. The district court declined to allow the video to be played as it was a prior consistent statement with no allegation of recent fabrication against Jurgena.
Jurgena was found guilty of both counts. On count one he was sentenced to one year in the county jail with all but thirty days suspended. A no-contact order was also entered, and Jurgena was placed on two years of supervised probation. Jurgena was ordered to participate in a sex offender treatment program and register as a sex offender for ten years. Jurgena was also placed on parole supervision for a period of ten years. The sentence on count two, of one year in the county jail, was fully suspended and ordered to be served consecutively to count one.