In the case of United States v. Manos, 25 CR 238 (CMA 1958), the accused was convicted
of indecent exposure when two air force policemen observed him naked and drying himself in the
upstairs, rear bedroom window of his quarters. The court-martial found that the exposure was negligent
rather than willful and convicted the accused of negligent exposure. The Court of Military Appeals
overturned this conviction, holding that negligent exposure is not a punishable offense under the UCMJ.
The conviction of indecent exposure was reversed where the accused was observed nude in
his own apartment by a passerby in the hallway looking in the partly opened door of the apartment. The
accused made no motions, gestures, or any other action indicating that he was aware of the presence of
anyone in the hallway. Such evidence is as consistent with negligence as it is with willful action.
United States v. Stackhouse, 37 CMR 99 (CMA 1967).
QUESTION: HOW CAN WE DETERMINE WHETHER THE ACCUSED'S EXPOSURE WAS
NEGLIGENT OR WILLFUL?
ANSWER: INTENT TO BE SEEN MAY BE PRESUMED FROM THE CIRCUMSTANCES, SUCH
AS WHERE THE ACCUSED EXPOSED HIMSELF IN THE CHILDREN'S SECTION OF THE
BASE LIBRARY. UNITED STATES V. BURBANK, 37 CMR 955 (AFBR 1967). IN ORDER TO
BE CRIMINAL, THE EXPOSURE NEED NOT OCCUR IN A PUBLIC PLACE SO LONG AS IT IS
IN PUBLIC VIEW.
H. Voyeurism/Peeping Tom (Article 134, UCMJ, para 73). Voyeurism and window peeping,
although not actually sex crimes, are aggravated forms of disorderly conduct punishable under Article
134, UCMJ. The basis of the offense is generally the invading of the privacy of other persons by spying
on them without their consent in their premises whether or not they are actually in view. United States
v. Foster, 13 MJ 789 (ACMR, 1982).
The words "peeping tom" have a commonly understood meaning in this country as being one
who sneaks up to a window and peeps in for the purpose of spying on and invading the privacy of the
inhabitants. United States v. Foster, 13 MJ 789, 796 (ACMR 1982). Although there are few reported
cases on the offense of "window peeping," it is certain that such conduct is offensive, would outrage the
sense of decency of others, tends to disturb the peace and quiet, and provoke a breach of the peace.
Therefore, such conduct falls within the definition of disorderly conduct.
PART D - EVIL WORDS
A. Communicating a Threat (Article 134, UCMJ, para 110). The purpose for punishing the
communication of threats in the military is to prevent the ultimate harm which the threats forewarn.
United States v. Rutherford, 16 CMR 35 (CMA 1954). Therefore, once it clearly appears that a person
subject to the UCMJ has communicated a recent determination or intention to harm another person now
or in the future, the crime is complete. In order to secure a conviction for this offense, four elements of
proof must be satisfied: