CALAIS – A 75-year-old Eastport man remained behind bars Thursday after he allegedly was caught by a police officer’s wife and others engaging in sexual behavior in public.
Philip Lee, who has no previous criminal record, has been charged with three counts of indecent conduct, one count of disorderly conduct and two counts of violating his bail conditions. He was being held in jail late Thursday afternoon on the bail violations.
Lee was arraigned Oct. 2 in Calais District Court for two separate incidents after he allegedly engaged in a sex act by himself in public view while in his car. The first incident occurred in July.
“He is alleged to have exposed himself from his car while parked along Water Street in Eastport and to have been masturbating while driving around the Robbinston Boat Landing [on Route 1] while a school bus load of kids and chaperones were taking a field trip,” an affidavit on file with the court said. None of the youngsters was present, but the bus driver reported seeing Lee engaged in the sex act. Police issued him a summons.
On Oct. 16, an Eastport police officer’s wife was collecting paperwork from her car in the parking lot at Calais Regional Hospital when she noticed an “older man” walking toward her car. He smiled at the woman and then got into his car, which was near hers, she reported.
“She smiled back and noted that he was squirming in his seat as soon as he sat down,” the affidavit said. The woman had to walk past the man’s car to get to the hospital. When she glanced into the car window she noticed he was wearing some sort of pantyhose with what appeared to be either a hole in the front or the top cut off. She also noticed that Lee was engaged in a sex act.
Emery confronted the man and informed him that she was married to an Eastport Police officer. Lee allegedly pulled up his pants, the affidavit said. He then told her he had pulled his pants down because they were cutting into him. He begged her not to call police, but she did anyway. Police later found Lee in the parking lot at a local Calais store and summoned him for disorderly conduct.
Fourteen days later, a 68-year-old Pembroke woman was walking along the Shore Road when she noticed a car pass her several times. The car finally stopped, and the driver rolled down the window. Believing that the man was lost, the woman walked up to his car to offer help. It was then she noticed his pants were down, but his underwear was intact. She also noticed an ace bandage on his leg.
“While touching his leg and pointing down at it, he asked if she knew where he could get silk stockings,” the affidavit said. She called police.
Police found Lee’s car stopped on the causeway going into Eastport. He told police he was looking for stockings for his girlfriend. When asked why he had his pants down when he talked to the Pembroke woman, he said his seat was wet so he took his pants down. When police said the seat didn’t look wet, he said he meant the car floor was wet, the affidavit said. Lee was arrested.
He appeared Wednesday in Ellsworth District Court and was ordered to jail without bail.
Because disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor, First Assistant District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh said Thursday that if convicted Lee could be fined up to $1,000 and serve up to six months in jail.
“Of course Mr. Lee is presumed innocent, and we have to recognize that, but it is an unusual allegation and the frequency of the allegations and the geographic range – Eastport, Calais, Pembroke – are of concern,” Cavanaugh said. “I would like to think that if there was a longstanding problem, people would have reported it by now. But it is embarrassing stuff. Maybe ladies out for walks seeing somebody do this would rather avert their eyes and [not report it]. I can’t do any more than speculate like everybody else as to whether it’s ever happened before, but he has no criminal record.”