FAYETTEVILLE -- A man who exposed himself to children in a Springdale Walmart was convicted Wednesday of three counts of sexual indecency with a child.
The evidence against Micah Kenton Krol, 38, of Bella Vista consisted primarily of store video showing him approaching three children while their parents weren't close by and quickly exposing himself.
Lesser included offense
In some cases a person is charged with breaking a law that covers or includes two separate crimes, with one being more serious than the other. The second is generally called a lesser included offense.
The Washington County Circuit Court jury took about 30 minutes to reach the guilty verdicts on the three felony charges. In the sentencing phase of the one-day trial the jury recommended Krol be sentenced to one year at the Arkansas Department of Correction on each charge.
Circuit Judge Joanna Taylor sentenced Krol and ordered the terms to run consecutively. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.
Krol faced a maximum of six years, a fine of $10,000, or both, on each of the three individual charges.
Police were called to the Walmart on Pleasant Street on Feb. 2, 2016, after employees reported a man exposing himself to small children.
Krol left the store before police arrived, but officers used video of the license plate on Krol's vehicle to obtain his driver's license information. Police matched Krol's photo to surveillance footage that captured Krol exposing his genitals to three children at two spots in the store.
Krol was arrested a couple days later at the University of Arkansas' Alpha Delta Pi sorority house where he was employed as a chef at the time.
Police weren't able to identify the children or their parents and it wasn't clear from the video whether the children actually saw Krol's genitals before they ran away. There were no complaints made to the store or police about the incidents.
Krol didn't testify during the trial.
His attorney, Shane Wilkinson, argued Krol was charged with something he didn't do and couldn't be convicted without either a victim's testimony or some evidence the children saw him exposing himself to them.
"They are trying to shove a square peg in a round hole. Period. End of story," Wilkinson said. "You might not like what you see, but he's not guilty of what he's charged with, sexual indecency with a child."
Wilkinson conceded Krol tried to commit sexual indecency with a child. Attempted sexual indecency with a child is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Kevin Metcalf, deputy prosecutor, said the state only had to prove Krol exposed himself to someone younger than 15 years for self-gratification, regardless of whether the children saw anything.
"The purpose of this law is to protect our children from sexual predators," Metcalf told jurors. "I can't tell you whether they saw anything or not. I don't have to prove that. All I have to prove is he exposed it."
Metcalf told jurors the video showed Krol seeking out children in the toy department and making sure no adults were around.
"He was targeting, targeting children, waiting for the parents to wander off or not be looking," Metcalf said. "He wanted those kids to see him. Those kids were exposed."
Taylor allowed the jury instructions to include attempted sexual indecency with a child as a lesser included charge but the seven women and five men on the jury rejected that option, going with the felony instead.
NW News on 03/01/2018
Print Headline: Krol found guilty of exposing himself to children