‘It’s not a felony if they don’t touch it, right?’ man asks cops
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A man charged with exposing himself to a mother and her two young daughters on a CTA bus says it was all a misunderstanding.
“My pants fell down on the bus,” Lavar Beecham told Judge David Navarro during his bail hearing Wednesday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. “It was a mistake, man. A mistake.”
Beecham’s repeated outbursts claiming that his pants fell down accidentally led Navarro to warn Beecham that he could be removed from the courtroom if he continued talking.
“Just stop,” Navarro said bluntly during the proceeding.
The 41-year-old is charged with a felony count of sexual exploitation of a child in connection with the incident, which happened about 8:30 p.m. Sunday on a CTA bus traveling on Cicero Avenue, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said Beecham is a registered sexual predator with a history of similar acts.
The 28-year-old woman was riding on the nearly empty bus with her 13- and 7-year-old daughters when she moved to the back of the bus to get away from Beecham, who was seated at the front of the bus, Assistant State’s Attorney Nancee Hofheimer said.
Beecham pulled out his penis and walked toward them, Hofheimer said. The woman instructed her children not to look and told the bus driver what was happening, Hofheimer said. The driver pulled over and waved down officers in the 600 block of North Cicero Avenue in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, authorities said.
The woman identified Beecham to officers at the scene, Hofheimer said. Beecham told officers his pants came down by accident and stated: “It’s not a felony if they don’t touch it, right?” and “It’s only a misdemeanor if they just saw it,” according to Hofheimer.
“Lies, all lies,” Beecham said of the allegations.
Beecham is a registered sexual predator who is homeless, according to an Illinois State Police database. His status stems from a conviction for sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl in 2004, court records show.
He was convicted of misdemeanor public indecency for a 2014 incident in which he walked into the U.S. Post Office branch at 5001 W. Division St. with his pants down and exposed himself, Hofheimer said. His criminal background also includes multiple convictions for failing to register as a sex offender, Hoffheimer said.
Navarro ordered Beecham held without bail.
As he was being led away from the courtroom, Beecham shouted that the case must be dismissed if no video of the incident exists.
Prosecutors said the incident was recorded by CTA cameras.