By placing Alan Patton on house arrest for the next five years, Delaware Municipal Judge David P. Sunderman said he hopes people in Central Ohio’s public restrooms will breathe a little easier.
“It goes without saying that members of any community should be able to enter a restroom feeling safe, comfortable and protected. And obviously that can’t be the case with you,” Sunderman said.
Sunderman also ordered Patton, 60, of Dublin to serve 30 days in jail, effective immediately, and pay a $250 fine. The judge credited Patton for three days already served following his Nov. 5, 2010 arrest on a charge of unlawful collection of a bodily substance, a law that was drafted with Patton in mind to address his history of unusual behavior in Central Ohio.
Patton said in a 2006 court hearing he has been drinking the urine of young boys for more than 40 years, according to NBC4.
In a bench trial last month, Sunderman found Patton guilty of a misdemeanor charge of criminal damaging after an off-duty Delaware County sheriff’s deputy reported observing him behaving suspiciously in a restroom at a Burger King off of U.S. 23S in Orange Township the month before. Dep. Brian Blair testified last month he saw toilet seat liners and toilet paper stuffed in one of the toilets, and suspected Patton was trying to collect urine so he could drink it.
However, Sunderman acquitted on the collection of bodily substance charge, saying there was no evidence Patton was actually collecting urine.
City prosecutor Joe Schmansky said Patton’s has numerous criminal convictions in Central Ohio that date back to 1978 including voyeurism, gross sexual imposition, criminal damaging and public indecency.
Patton was labelled a sexual predator following the 1993 gross sexual imposition charge, Schmansky said.
Patton also has a history of not complying with court-ordered therapy in the past, resulting in 30 day jail sentences for contempt of court, Schmansky said.
Schmansky requested that the judge impose the five-year house arrest sentence on Patton so authorities can keep an eye on him.
“The common thread in all these offenses is that they all involve public restrooms…And I’m not certain jail time is going to do the trick for him, because it seems like that’s what he wants to do is to just do the time so he can get out and (re-offend) again,” Schmansky said.
Assuming the terms of his probation aren’t changed, Patton for the next five years will have to call a probation officer for permission to leave his home for any reason. He will be required to wear a GPS monitor and will be forbidden from entering any public restrooms.
When given an opportunity to speak, Patton stood and said contrary to investigators’ testimony, he was not in the Burger King restroom for almost an hour on the date in question.
Sunderman interrupted Patton to tell him he had already ruled on the facts of the case.
Patton continued: “I was only in there to use the restroom. I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary, and when I found the seat covers (in the toilet), I had a really hard time trying to flush them down. I know how it appears because of my history, but I wasn’t.”
Patton later interrupted Sunderman while the judge announced his sentence to say he can’t afford to pay the $375 a month in GPS monitoring charges.
Patton lives with his elderly mother, and collects about $1,100 a month in disability payments as his only income source, Sunderman said in court Friday.
Sunderman said if Patton can if he wants request a court hearing and submit more detailed financial information so the court can formally decide whether or not Patton can afford the cost of the GPS monitoring.
Before Patton was sentenced, defense attorney Christopher Soon said Patton’s history of behavior may be considered bizarre or strange by most people, but that doesn’t mean he committed a crime.
Following the hearing, Soon reacted to the idea that there needs to be some stronger law to regulate Patton’s behavior. While he acknowledged most would consider Patton’s behavior to be bizarre and strange, he said passing any future laws on to address strange behavior, would be a “colossal waste of resources.”
Soon characterized the Sept. 17, 2010 passage of the unlawful collection of a bodily substance law, which made it it a first-degree misdemeanor for anyone to acquire bodily fluids from anyone else except in medical setting, in a similarly wasteful way.
Anyone convicted under the law a second time would face a fifth-degree felony.
When asked if Patton wanted to change for the better, Soon said he had a “cordial” relationship with his client.
“Mr. Patton seems sincere in his desire to not have any future contact with the legal system,” Soon said.