No sympathy but should he be a criminal?

The Herald reports:

A former teacher of a leading Auckland school has been found to have been masturbating in a classroom while watching pornography.

However, the ruling was only a “finding of fact” and the man is yet to be found formally guilty as he disputes the classroom was a public place.

The man, in his late 40s, was on trial at the Auckland District Court charged with committing an indecent act in a place the public have access to in June 2013.

He denied masturbating, but had conceded watching pornography in an empty classroom at lunchtime.

The incident came to light after a student wanting to speak to him about a timetable change viewed him through a window, after a friend lifted him up to look inside the classroom.

It goes without saying that teachers should not be masturbating at school, and that he should not be a teacher. Generally it is a bad idea for anyone to relieve themselves in their workplace, and even more so if your workplace is a school. So no sympathy for him losing his job.

But should he receive a criminal conviction? Was he deliberately exposing himself?

I think of the couple having sex in the insurance office in Christchurch. They stripped naked and had sex in public view. Like the teacher it was unintentional that anyone saw them. They lost their jobs, but no one cried out for them to be prosecuted for public indecency.  So why so in this case?

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