A Bellevue man caught on video pleasuring himself with a picnic table behind his home is serving a six-month sentence in the Huron County Jail.
Art R. Price Jr., 41, of 146 Brinker St., pleaded no contest Wednesday to two counts of public indecency, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and one charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a first-degree misdemeanor.
A witness reported seeing Price wander out onto his back deck naked, put a table on its side and have sex using the umbrella hole. A confidential source brought the activity to the attention of Bellevue police officers, who had the person tape the activities four times between Jan. 29 and March 14. His backyard is directly across from Ridge Elementary School and police said they believed Price performed his outdoor sexual activities when students could have witnessed them.
A Bellevue officer sat outside and drove by the house several times trying to catch Price in the act, a report said.
“All copies of the tapes of the sexual activity in this case shall be placed in the custody of the Huron County Prosecutor’s office. It is specifically found these tapes are obscene and not public records,” according to the Huron County Clerk of Courts docket.
In April, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler dismissed four fifth-degree felony public indecency charges because they didn’t seem to match the law perfectly.
Leffler told the Sandusky Register this week it was challenging to figure out how to charge Price, saying, “Nothing really fit quite right, but (these misdemeanors are) what we were able to come up.”
Police records show this was not the first time Price, a Register employee, was in trouble for his sexual activities. He was arrested on two voyeurism charges in Bowling Green in 1987 and another one in Tiffin in 1989.
“From what little we’ve received it appears the ones in Bowling Green were (for) masturbating outside while looking into the windows of people’s houses,” Bellevue Police Capt. Matt Johnson said in April.
Those incidents happened on Sept. 3 and Oct. 23, 1987 involving women who respectively were 21 and 23.
On July 4, 1989 in Tiffin, police said they spotted Price, who was 21 at the time, bending over and stimulating himself while peeking through a hole drilled through the bathroom wall from the utility room. A woman earlier reported finding what appeared be shavings in the bottom of tub, where her 14-year-old daughter found dirt as she was about to take a shower.
Price was sentenced to four days in jail for two voyeurism charges and one count of criminal damaging. The court required him to pay an undisclosed amount of restitution for damages and attend counseling.