OKC Man Arrested for Groping Young Girls at Apartment Pool

An Oklahoma City man has been arrested on a complaints of lewd acts with minors after two young girls reported the man groped them at an apartment complex pool. Police were called to the apartment complex, located in the 8100 block of North MacArthur Boulevard, after witnesses saw a man grope the buttocks of a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl. The man then told the witnesses that he was going to come back to the pool with a pistol and an AK-47. When police responded, the girls told police that the man had offered them alcohol from a flask he had, and that he grabbed their buttocks underwater. The suspect, later identified as 26-year-old William Dean Walles, had already left the scene, but police soon found him passed out in his apartment. Walles allegedly told police that he was too drunk to remember anything that may have happened at the pool. Walles was arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County jail, where he is being held on $30,000 bond. At least two local news reports say that Walles was arrested on a complaint of "sexual battery to a child under 16." However, sexual battery, by definition, is a crime against a person aged 16 or older. Since the young girls in this case were under the age of 16, Walles was arrested on a complaints of indecent or lewd acts with a child under 16. Both sexual battery and lewd acts are defined under the same statute: 21 O.S. 1123. The two acts, however, involve nonconsensual physical contact against people in different age groups. Lewd or Indecent Proposals or Acts to a Child Under 16 covers a vast range of lewd or lascivious behavior involving minors under 16. These include acts as severe as child molestation that falls short of rape and as simple as looking at a minor aged 15 or younger in a "lewd or lascivious" manner. Under this statute, any physical contact with a minor in an indecent or sexual manner is a felony punishable by a minimum of three years in prison and a maximum of 20 years. However, if the victim is younger than 12, the crime is penalized by a minimum sentence of 25 years. Sexual battery, on the other hand, is defined as "the intentional touching, mauling or feeling of the body or private parts of any person sixteen (16) years of age or older, in a lewd and lascivious manner without the consent of that person." Certain people are considered legally unable to provide consent: students cannot consent to sexual contact with teachers; inmates and arrestees cannot consent to sexual contact with law enforcement and DOC employees; and those in DHS custody cannot consent to sexual contact with DHS employees, for example. Even if such a person provides verbal consent or even initiates such contact, it is considered to be sexual battery, a felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison. Both sexual battery and lewd acts with a minor are Level 3 sex crimes that require lifetime sex offender registration.

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