Victor Nunez is an illegal alien from Mexico. Two years after arriving in the United States, he was convicted of petty theft for shoplifting. Then, he was convicted of a much more serious crime: He exposed himself in public. But even that wasn’t enough to have him removed from the country.
After a decade of his illegal presence, the Department of Homeland Security finally brought immigration charges to remove him from the United States. Crimes of “moral turpitude,” like exposing your genitals to children, are supposed to result in certain deportation.
The Immigration Judge denied his application, and the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed, finding that he had two convictions for “crimes involving moral turpitude,” which under the immigration laws, makes one ineligible for the green card Nunez was seeking. Nunez was on a fast track back to Mexico.
But Nunez appealed, claiming that his conviction for indecent exposure was not a crime involving moral turpitude. To be convicted of this crime under California law, the offender must be shown to have willfully exposed his private parts in a public place or in a place where there are unwilling persons. Under the law, he also must “intentionally direct attention to his genitals for sexual purposes.” For his conviction, it was necessary for the government to show that Nunez intended to direct attention to his genitals for sexual purposes; his conviction demonstrates, specifically, that he sought to sexually arouse or gratify himself or his victim.