A New Jersey officer accused of exposing himself to two Black children at an Applebee’s restaurant last year has been found not guilty.
Penns Grove officer Anthony Minguez was charged with lewdness and disorderly conduct following a March 2017 incident where he allegedly exposed his genitals to a 13-year-old boy and a 9-year-old boy in the restaurant’s bathroom, The Philadelphia Tribune reported. Minguez was off-duty at the time and intoxicated. The boys fled the bathroom and immediately told their mother.
The boys’ mother filed complaints against the officer after her children informed her of what had happened. Police interviewed both boys, along with patrons, the bartender, a waitress and an Applebee’s manager as part of their investigation. Video surveillance was also reviewed, according to NJ.com. The boys said in their statement that the officer, “shook his penis and had a creepy look on his face.”
In the end, however, authorities found that no crime had been committed. Prosecutor’s said Miguez was in a stall at the time of the alleged incident and that the boys walked in on him, surprising him.
“The evidence revealed that off-duty Officer Minguez was in a stall in the bathroom urinating when the victims attempted to enter the stall at which time Officer Minguez turned around and the juveniles fled the bathroom,” a statement from the prosecutor’s office read.
Prosecutors also concluded that the incident didn’t meet the criteria for an indictable crime, which states that the “subject must expose himself for the purpose of sexual gratification.”
“In this case, the subject was exposed for the purpose of urinating, not sexual gratification,” prosecutors said.
Minguez, who was booted from the Penns Grove police force amid the allegations, maintained his innocence throughout the case.