By Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A 68-year-old man, who admitted he exposed his genital area while he was in a pickup in the Cushing Walmart parking lot, was ordered Friday to serve one year in jail followed by nine years of probation, register as a sex offender, and pay a $500 fine.
Jeffery Lyn Harris, who has been jailed without bail since his guilty plea on May 26 to indecent exposure, was sentenced by District Judge Phillip Corley in accordance with a recommendation from Payne County Assistant District Attorney Erica Garuccio.
In court Friday, Harris said, “I deeply regret my actions. This has been a deeply embarrassing experience. I was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time. I had no intention of exposing myself…I went to the doctor and found I am suffering from depression,” due to a relative’s death.
The prosecutor told Harris, “There are consequences to your behavior.” She advised the judge, “Mr. Harris has had two previous felonies,” and recommended that he either be given a three-year prison term followed by seven years of probation or an alternative sentence of one year in jail followed by nine years of probation.
Defense attorney Virginia Banks told the judge, “He lost his father. He is 68. His dogs are in custody in Cushing. He is much better medically than when I met him.”
Before announcing the sentence, the judge bluntly told Harris, “You exposed yourself to juveniles.”
When Harris admitted his guilt last month, one of his young victims read a statement in court that included, “Seeing those actions and being stared at by the person doing them is something I hope no one else ever has to deal with. This made me feel violated and disgusted. These actions are something a 16-year-old girl shouldn’t have to see, let alone think about.
“Seeing these actions will always be in the back of my mind when I’m parking, walking into places or going anywhere alone. A situation people will never even think to worry about is something I will always have to worry about.”
Harris was arrested at 9:04 pm on June 13, 2022, seven minutes after Cushing Police Officers Alex Gegen and Sgt. Carson Watts were dispatched to the parking lot where the defendant was in a pickup in the 12th row close to the building, an affidavit said.
“Upon reaching the passenger door, I observed a male looking at a phone that was in his left hand with what appeared to be some type of pornography,” while fondling himself with his right hand, Officer Gegen wrote in his affidavit.
“It should be noted that there were multiple vehicles in the parking lot with multiple people walking around,” the affidavit said.
After being arrested, “When Harris stepped out of the vehicle, his penis was still out of his clothes and visible to both officers. He was then covered up,” the affidavit said.
A woman said, “there were five individuals who had seen Harris in his vehicle touching himself, two of which were juveniles (16 and 14 years old),” the affidavit said.
Another woman said, “she was able to record Harris while he was in his vehicle,” and showed the officer a video of the incident, the affidavit said.
Harris had previously been given probation for possessing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a park in 2013, and furnishing alcohol to a minor in 1999, court records show.