BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jonathan Dow, 33, was arrested yesterday and charged with a second offense of exposure of sexual organs after a woman reported that he was masturbating while sitting on a bench along the Hawthorne Trail.
The responding Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy reported that he was familiar with Dow, who is homeless, after others had reported that they encountered him masturbating, asking for sexual favors, or verbally abusing passersby on the trail. However, none of them had wished to pursue criminal charges.
The deputy made contact with the woman who reported yesterday’s encounter and showed her a photo line-up, in which she positively identified Dow as the man she had encountered on the trail.
The victim reported that she had been riding her bike on the trail and had gotten off the bike briefly near the La Chua trail overlook when she saw Dow sitting alone on a park bench. She said that he was masturbating and that he asked her to help him with something. She reported that she said she didn’t want to, but he said all she had to do was stand there. She told the deputy that she was very uncomfortable and got on her bike to leave, but Dow began walking towards her and then followed her as she rode away. She rode faster to get away from him and did not see him again.
Dow has been charged with a second offense of indecent exposure. He has three felony convictions and an open Alachua County case for driving without a valid license. He also has a conviction in another county this year. He is being held on $10,000 bail.
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.