Empire Man Found Guilty in Rest Stop Incident
Herald-Star, October 5, 2001
401 Herald Square, Steubenville, OH 43952
By Matz Malone, Staff writer
TORONTOJames Henry, 45, of Empire was found guilty
of public indecency, a misdemeanor, Thursday after a jury of five men and
three women deliberated for less than an hour in Jefferson County Court in
Judge Joseph Corabi sentenced Henry to serve 30 days in the county jail,
but suspended 25 days and assessed a $250 fine.
Corabi ordered Henry to post $500 bond, but allowed Henry until Monday to
secure the bond.
Henry was charged with public indecency in connection with a surveillance
operation conducted by Saline Township Police at a rest stop located at the
intersection of state Routes 7 and 213. The surveillance operation included
use of video cameras to record activities in the parking lot and in the mens
Henry was one of 13 people charged as the result of an investigation by the
Saline Township Police into lewd activity at the rest area located near the
border of Jefferson and Columbiana counties.
Henry was the only person charged to go to trial. He was charged in
connection with a May 9 incident at the rest stop.
Assistant Jefferson County Prosecutor Richard Ferro said Henry went into
mens room, used urinal.
Jurors were shown a less-than-one minute segment of a videotape which
showed Henry standing at a urinal and before turning around toward the public
At that time, the prosecutors office claims Henry began to masturbate.
The tape was the only physical evidence presented by Ferro Thursday.
Henrys lawyer, Samuel Pate, told the jury that Henry did use the
"He was there for 47 seconds. During that time he did nothing wrong or
improper, but he was secretly videotaped," Pate said.
Pate argued that Henry did nothing wrong.
During previous arguments on the validity of the tapes, Pate last month
said Henry had the expectation of privacy when he entered the mens room.
Corabi on Sept. 28 ruled a person doesnt have an actual expectation of
privacy when in the common areas of a public restroom because anyone entering
the restroom could freely observe their actions. That ruling allowed a
surveillance tape from the rest area to be used at Henrys trial.
Henry declined comment after the jury issued its verdict Thursday.
Pate said he will discuss a possible appeal with Henry, but would not
Ferro had no comment on the verdict.
[Home] [News] [Ohio]