News and Tribune

Clark County

July 15, 2013

DNR makes string of public indecency arrests in Clark County

Six men jailed after found engaging in unrelated sexual conduct in parks

CLARK COUNTY — Six arrests were made during two details performed by area Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officers to target those soliciting sexual favors.

Four men were arrested in less than three hours Friday in Clark State Forest and two men were arrested near Falls of the Ohio State Park a week ago. None of the arrests were related, but all of the offenders were arrested and preliminarily charged with public indecency as a class C misdemeanor.

DNR conservation officer Bo Spainhour said such stings are organized only after the agency receives complaints from the public. He said DNR had heard concerns from Clarksville officials regarding suspicious people around the Falls of the Ohio.

“They had apparently been fielding complaints from the public of problems we had in the past referencing suspicious actively that was sexual in nature,” he said.

Working with the Clarksville Police Department, officers focused on the wooded area south of West River Road between the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center and Ashland Park to the east. Soon after one of the undercover officers sat on a piece of driftwood on a trail about 1 p.m. July 9, he was approached by Samuel Elmore, 64, of Louisville. Spainhour said the men were initially engaged in a conversation about the weather and how secluded the area was.

“After a very brief conversation, Mr. Elmore reached up the shorts of our officer and attempted to touch the genitalia of the officer,” Spainhour said.

Elmore was not only preliminarily charged with public indecency, but also class B misdemeanor battery for the attempted physical contact. Spainhour said Elmore admitted that he had a lapse in judgment and it was the first time he had behaved in that manner.

About an hour later, as one of the officers was walking along a trail in the area, he came upon Carlos M. Berrios, 47, of East 11th Street in New Albany. Spainhour said Berrios had his back to the officer, but was seen masturbating. He said Berrios later stated that he was only urinating.

Elmore and Berrios were taken to the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex in Jeffersonville before the detail was completed.

Spainhour said the DNR was pleased to team up with the Clarksville Police Department to conduct the operation.

“We were ecstatic they were willing to work with us,” Spainhour said. “It was a joint operation, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Spainhour explained that most of the interaction between officers and the men or women looking to solicit sexual favors is the same. He said there is usually a brief conversation about the weather, then a comment about being in a private area, then the offender begins to touch himself or attempt to touch the officer. He said it often happens quickly and that most of the sexual activity takes place during lunch and dinner hours.

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