Cincinnati.com reports that a serial flasher has once again been convicted in a case where he exposed himself in a Half Price Books store. This is his sixth conviction since 2004.
Gerald Fornshell, 50, has previously been in prison for more than two years, and served more than five years of probation for public indecency convictions. He most recently exposed himself to a 21-year-old woman while inside a Half Price Books store in July.
The victim, Mercede Velez, said he was hiding behind a shelf and staring at her at a store in Mason, then later spotted him at another store. Fornshell then asked if he could use her phone to film a video. Velez has trouble hearing and didn’t understand what he was asking at first, but eventually declined.
Fornshell then followed her to the self-help aisle and crouched next to a shelf. Velez then saw him exposing himself and masturbating next to the books, and went to notify an employee, who called police.
The defense attorney claimed in court that he should have been charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony, but did not deny his client exposed himself. The charge was classified as a felony because the prosecution believed that it was possible a person under the age of 18 could have seen him exposing himself. Fornshell’s attorney also says that he suffers from bipolar disorder, and apparently doesn’t remember the incident.
The jury convicted Fornshell after deliberating for two and half hours of a felony public indecency charge.
He was previously convicted of misdemeanor public indecency charges in 2005 and 2006. In one of the cases, he exposed himself to a woman in a Borders bookstore. He was convicted again in 2007 and 2010 in similar cases, and in 2015 he was convicted of exposing himself to two juvenile females in a Big Lots parking lot.
Fornshell’s conviction carries up to one year in prison, and his sentencing is scheduled for March 28. He may also face additional penalties because he is currently on probation for a previous offense.
*Photo credit Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office