S.F. Examiner file photoA man accused of indecent exposure on BART escaped more serious punishment last week when a jury found him guilty of the lesser crime of lewd exposure after having carnal knowledge with a BART seat.

Man found not guilty of felony indecent exposure for BART seat encounter

He didn't mean to rub anyone the wrong way.

A man who had sexual relations with a BART seat was found not guilty of indecent exposure last week because, according to the Public Defender's Office, he did not mean for anyone to witness his behavior.

Leslie Bailey, 28, was arrested May 8 after an operator reported seeing him making sweet love to a seat on a sparsely occupied train.

During a weeklong trial that ended Thursday, Bailey's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Emily Dahm, persuaded a San Francisco jury that her client should not be convicted of felony indecent exposure because he was not trying to draw the public's attention with his actions.

Bailey was instead convicted of lewd acts, a misdemeanor, and was released from custody Monday.

The Public Defender's Office said the jury's decision was fair because in order to be convicted of felony indecent exposure, the perpetrator must intend to have an audience.

Bailey is a homeless drug addict who not only could not control himself, but had also made efforts to remain hidden from public view, his attorney argued.

The incident unfolded during the middle of the day, after Bailey reportedly boarded an eastbound train at the 16th Street station. The sexual antics with the seat began immediately, the train operator said.

At the Civic Center station, Bailey ran off the train and then rushed back onboard just before the doors closed. He returned to his seat and engaged in other sexual acts, the Public Defender's Office said, including masturbation. Bailey also was seen smoking crack.

The operator notified dispatch about the behavior, but the lewdness continued. Bailey exited at the Powell Street station, ran to the operator's window and apologized for smoking crack while begging to get back on the train. All the while, authorities said, Bailey's penis was partially exposed beneath his shirt.

BART police responded, arrested Bailey and found him in possession of a crack pipe.

The jury deliberated for about a day before acquitting Bailey of the felony charge.

“Mr. Bailey thought he was having a private moment; unfortunately, he picked a really inappropriate place,” Dahm said.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi said Bailey was having a mental health crisis and needs medical help, not jail time.

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