Veteran UCO Professor Arrested, Accused of Indecent Exposure

A longtime professor at the University of Central Oklahoma has been arrested for indecent exposure after an alleged incident at a local laundromat, and police say his arrest has prompted reports of bizarre behavior in the days and weeks leading up to his arrest.

Reports say that police responded to a call at a laundromat in response to a woman saying that a man there asked her to spank him. When they arrived, they say William Franklin Stockwell, 67, admitted to the action, saying, "I didn't think there was anything wrong with asking."

However, a few days later, and the same laundromat, police say Stockwell did commit a crime. This time, when they responded to the scene, a woman told them that the man had dropped his pants, exposing his buttocks to her in the presence of a child. Police arrested the professor, who has since been charged with indecent exposure, a felony, and acts resulting in gross injury, a misdemeanor.

Investigators say that after Stockwell's release from jail, they received other complaints about his behavior, including a call from an Edmond Walgreens, where he reportedly asked people sexual questions and asked one woman to use a sex toy on him. Stockwell again reportedly admitted to the allegations.

Stockwell has been a computer science professor at UCO since 1979, with only a short, two-year break beginning in 1980. According to his attorney, Stockwell is a respected professional and community member, and the allegations against him are the result of a medical condition. The lawyer released a statement saying his client "is a very well respected professor at UCO. Unfortunately, a medical condition has presented itself recently, causing him to act out in inappropriate and uncharacteristic ways. We are currently working with the district attorney's office to find a fair resolution."

Oklahoma law defines indecent exposure as occurring when a person "[l]ewdly exposes his or her person or genitals in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby" (21 O.S. § 1021). Indecent exposure is punishable by 30 days in jail to 10 years in prison. It is a Level 1 sex offense. An offender assigned to level one must register as a sex offender for 15 years with annual address verification.

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