A pervert walks past some kids and sexually exposes themselves. They then walk towards the father of the children they just exposed themselves to, as words were exchanged. The father proceeds to exact some street justice and beats the pervert up.

Could the father face legal consequences?

Could the father use self defense as a defence against any charges?

Such a situation is reported here.

Since a state is necessary for jurisdiction, let's use Florida as an example.

  • @NateEldredge I modified the question to improve its quality. Not sure which state was the incident which provoked the question. Nov 13, 2017 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


Beating a person up is a crime in every jurisdiction. No privilege to commit assault is created if the person has offended someone, although self defense (or defense of others) is a defense, in case the person is beating someone up. It may be against the law to expose your genitalia in public in your location, and you may call the police to seek justice. In Washington, a first offense of indecent exposure to a person under 14 is a gross misdemeanor. However, the law only allows up to 364 day in prison, and not a beating, for violating the law.

  • I believe exposing yourself to underage children can be considered sexual assault of a minor. Nov 13, 2017 at 0:56
  • 2
    @DigitalFire How is it assault, and in what jurisdiction? Nov 13, 2017 at 1:00
  • @BlueDogRanch I could be wrong. I misread about at which moment it becomes 'assault', which is when there is physical contact. Nov 13, 2017 at 1:10
  • 4
    The father might have the right to conduct a citizen's arrest if he saw the crime being committed, but there would be no self-defense right in this case and a beating would not be justified. Of course, law enforcement and the DA are under no obligation to prosecute the case against the dad if they don't want to do so.
    – ohwilleke
    Nov 13, 2017 at 4:42
  • 1
    @ohwilleke The pervert could sue the father for damages and law enforcement/DA would find it hard to stop that. Nov 13, 2017 at 15:27

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