FAIRFAX, Va. - As Erick Williamson sees it, being naked is liberating, and if passers-by get an eyeful while he's standing in front of a picture window, that's not his problem.
A Fairfax County judge saw it differently Friday, convicting Williamson, 29, of indecent exposure in a case that raised questions about what's OK when you're in your own home.
Two women said they saw much more of Williamson than they cared to in October, even though he never left his home. He received neither jail time nor a fine but is appealing anyway, saying a larger principle is at stake.
"I think that being tried and found guilty of something like this is outrageous," he said. "I feel like I'm living in a fishbowl."
Williamson testified that he never intended to expose himself and was exercising "personal freedom" as he spent several hours naked in his Springfield, Va., home packing belongings.
Police, prosecutors, and two witnesses, though, said his actions were designed to draw attention to himself.
School librarian Joyce Giuliani said she heard loud singing as she left home and drove to work. As she drove by Williamson's home, she saw him naked, standing directly behind a large picture window.
A few hours later, Yvette Dean was walking her son, 7, to school along a trail that runs by Williamson's home. She heard a loud rattle, looked to her left, and saw Williamson standing naked, full frontal, in a side doorway.
"He gave me eye contact," Dean said, but otherwise made no gestures toward her or her son. As she turned the corner, she said, she looked back at the home, in disbelief at what she had just seen. Again, she saw Williamson, naked in the picture window.
Williamson said he never noticed that two women had seen him, and "it did not occur to me" that people outside his home might see him naked.
Under Virginia law, an indecent-exposure charge requires "an obscene display or exposure" and must occur in "a public place or a place where others are present." Williamson's attorney, Dickson Young, argued that neither element had happened.