Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Football player charged with indecent exposure

8. December 2004 • Murph
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From the Michigan Daily:

At about 12:30 a.m. yesterday, redshirt sophomore Larry Harrison was arrested on the 700 block of South Division Street after police say he exposed himself outside a window of a residence on that street.

According to Sgt. Matt Lige of the Ann Arbor Police Department, Harrison was charged with one count of indecent exposure and was released after paying a $500 bond. There have been about 13 cases of indecent exposure reported to the AAPD since August that police said Harrison may have been involved in.

Harrison, a defensive tackle, was suspended from the football team.

LSA junior Lauren Sogor, a resident at the house where Harrison was arrested, said no one in her house knew about the incident until police knocked on her door.

“They said, ‘We just got this guy. We’ve been trying to catch him for five months. He’s been flashing himself over the city’,” Sogor said.

The Daily mentions that Harrison is a suspect in several other exposure cases this fall, and prints the following statement from the women in the house at which he was arrested,

Later yesterday, the three women who live at the house — Sogor, Bakale-Wise and Erin Strongfellow — released a statement to The Michigan Daily: “The Ann Arbor and University community and news media must be sure to look beyond this man’s status as a University football player and address the reality of the crime: that this man has perpetrated a punishable sexual harassment offense against dozens of women in at least 15 households over a five-month period on our campus. If we, as a community, had been informed of the repeated offenses, he may have been apprehended sooner and prevented from perpetrating so many times.”

Hopefully the community and media can also look beyond this man’s status as a University football player and address the reality of the situation: that this man has been charged with a single sexual harassment offense and is considered a suspect for others, but has not yet been charged with any other incidents, and has not yet been convicted of the one he has been charged with. This is obviously not something that can be dismissed out-of-hand, but the Daily should be making more of an effort to point out that the charges have not been proven yet, that Harrison has not yet even been charged with most of the other incidents, and that it’s quite possible for indecent exposure to be performed by people other than UMich football players. Such as, for example, married commuters from Brighton.

Edit: The Ann Arbor News has a significantly more detailed description of the investigation.

  1. I think you are being a little easy on the (suspected) perpretrator, and maybe you should have a little more sympathy for the victims?
       —David Boyle    Dec. 8 '04 - 03:39PM    #
  2. David, I think the Daily’s coverage slants entirely too much towards sympathy for the victims and establishes Harrison as guilty, guilty, guilty without providing any reasoning besides “he was charged in one incident,” and therefore is a serial flasher. The article establishes him as guilty without the needed backing.

    The Ann Arbor News article, which didn’t go online until after I posted my initial comments, is much much better than the Daily’s. The News article gives the impression that he’s almost definitely guilty, and provides the information needed to make that conclusion. Had the Daily included a tenth of the information that the News did, I probably wouldn’t have been inclined to question their coverage.
       —Murph    Dec. 8 '04 - 05:07PM    #
  3. Like David Boyle, I haven’t noticed that overreacting to athletes’ sex offenses-even ones of which they’ve been convicted-has been characteristic of UM.

    What the Daily says and what the administration does are two completely different things. If past practice is any indicator, this guy’s conviction, should it occur, will result in no penalty whatsoever with respect to his team participation. Cf. Bernard Robinson.

    I’m disappointed that the original ArborUpdate post doesn’t mention this.
       —AP    Dec. 9 '04 - 01:57PM    #
  4. More sypmathy for the “victims?” They didn’t even know they were “victims” until the police knocked on their door and told them that they had arrested someone on their property.

    As for him receiving “no penalty whatsoever,” he hasn’t been convicted of anything, and he’s already been suspended from the team, meaning he won’t play in the Rose Bowl. And he’s supposedly innocent until proven guilty.

    It’s all a complete crock of sh*t. There’s one set of rules for society and another for those in the spotlight. And all he’s guilty of so far is bringing money in to the University (via ticket sales) so that Sogor, Bakale-Wise, and Strongfellow will pay less in tuition than they otherwise would.

    Wonder which militant women’s group put their “statment” into their hands.
       —Mathias    Dec. 10 '04 - 11:28PM    #
  5. If there were someone juggling dynamite or anthrax or grenades on my porch, maybe they should be arrested even if I didn’t know they were there. Some things are rotten and dangerous enough that they should be punished anyway.

    Bakale-Wise is, bizarrely enough, new co-chair of MSA Women’s Issues Commission, I think. So

    1) Guy chose wrong person to flash


    2) She can write her own statements.
       —David Boyle    Dec. 12 '04 - 03:59PM    #