News 12's Most-Viewed: #5 - Video of sex at bus stop spurs debate about charges

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PORT JEFFERSON STATION -

News 12 Digital is highlighting the most-viewed stories of 2018 as part of our 'News 12's Most-Viewed' series. This story on the debate over charges in the case of a homeless man and woman having sex at a bus stop was first published May 11. Original story below.

The video of a homeless man and woman having sex at a Port Jefferson Station bus stop is sparking debate over what charges should be filed in the case.

As News 12 Long Island reported, police arrested the woman for public lewdness and are still looking for the man. In the video, the woman falls down several times and needs help getting up. Sources said the woman told police after the fact that she gave consent. Emily Waters with the Safe Center LI said watching the video was horrific.

“It’s obvious that the woman involved is unable to consent to this act. It looks like she is intoxicated to the point that she is not able to consent to a sex act. She is falling down, she is crawling away and pulled back up,” said Waters. “To charge a victim of crime with public lewdness, to charge a victim of rape with public lewdness is unconscionable.”

Suffolk police said the woman did not meet the criteria for not being able to give consent. Legal experts who spoke to News 12 agreed that under state law a person who is voluntarily intoxicated - and not to the point of mentally or physically incapacitated - can legally give consent.

Some viewers bashed News 12’s coverage for not focusing more on the issue of the bus stop instead of the woman. One commenter said, “She is not the victim, our community is the victim." News 12 reached out to the county executive's office about the residents' complaints about the bus stop and the homeless situation, but has not heard back.

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