California Police Arrest “The Sniffer,” But What Will Be the Charge?

There is a bizarre case out of California where Calese Carron Crowder was arrested after crouching down behind women and appearing to “sniff” them from behind at a Burbank Barnes & Noble store. Putting aside the bizarre fetish, the criminal charges in the case present equally novel elements.

Crowder is well known to the police and has burglary and Peeping Tom arrests going back years. This was his 43rd arrest since 2005 in Los Angeles County alone.

Indeed, the 36-year-old ex-convict was arrested in a Peeping Tom case on Monday, August 6th on a prowling charge — only the latest in a litany of such charges. Yet, he was released on Tuesday, August 7 after pleading no contest at his arraignment. The release conflicts with his sentence of 60 days in the county jail. He was also ordered to enter a sexual impulse rehabilitation program.

He then allegedly set about to sniff women. One such incident was captured on a TikTok video posted on Aug. 8.  The woman, Michaela Witter said that she was recording “Day 20” of “100 days of solo dates.” Crowder was staring at her and then crouched behind her. She said “He’ll crouch down low and pretend like he’s doing something and then smell? I don’t know.” She asked him what he was doing, he told her he was tying his shoe.

She then saw him sniffing her and told the management before rushing to her car. She wrote: “I’m so disgusted. I feel really violated.”

Other women have come forward to report similar bizarre occurrences.

The question is what the crime would be in such a sniffing incident.

It appears that he has not registered as a sexual offender as required, so there can clearly be violations associated with past cases. However, is sniffing alone a crime without contact?

The most obvious crime might be a type of stalking.

Under Penal Code 646.9 PC, stalking can be charged if you follow, harass, and threaten someone to the point that the person fears for his or her safety:

646.9. (a) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

Perhaps our California lawyers have some other suggestions. No charges on this latest offense have been filed as police continue to investigate.

63 thoughts on “California Police Arrest “The Sniffer,” But What Will Be the Charge?”

  1. I am not a California lawyer, but as a lawyer elsewhere (two East Coast states), even 646.9 might be questionable: his antics do not seem to have been “repeatedly” as to any individual victim, but “repeatedly” as to sequential victimes, i.e., one (sniff) to a customer.

    Let’s ask another interesting question: with his record of Peeping Tom arrests, and the order to enter a sexual impulse rehabilitation program, why was he still out on the loose? (Admittedly a rhetorical question, given California criminal law, procedure and practice overall.)

    Fellow females: as always, be aware of your surroundings, and keep you eyes open and your radar on full alert!

  2. 𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐀𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐀 𝟏𝟎-𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫-𝐎𝐥𝐝 𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐏𝐞𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐁𝐞𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐇𝐢𝐬 𝐌𝐨𝐦’𝐬 𝐂𝐚𝐫
    He was only arrested after multiple officers showed up to the scene.
    By: Lawrence Hodge ~ August 18, 2023

    𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐒𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐚 ‘𝐋𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐝’ 𝐛𝐲 𝐒𝐚𝐦 𝐀𝐬𝐠𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐢 𝐒𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐭
    “I’ve been playing it strong for way too long and my Instagram may seem perfect but it’s far from reality and I think we all know that !!!” the singer wrote.
    By: Allison Quinn ~ Updated Aug. 19, 2023
    [Note: Daren’s elated that Britney is back on the Market but still secretly holding out for Taylor Swift]

    * 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫, 𝐋𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐫 𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐒𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟒, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑. (𝟏𝟔 𝐃𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐍𝐨𝐰)
    Clean the roof Gutters, Reorganize the Garage, Trim the Bushes, Get the Winter Storm Windows or Hurricane Shutters out and clean them, Take the old Clothes to the Donation Center, Get the Car Tuned up, Take the Dog out for a good long hike, Kids are back in School watch the Speed Zones. … The Daily Grind is will soon be back in Gear. 2024 is just around the Corner.

  3. Is it possible for people to be in a war and not know it, for people to be fiddling while Rome burns?

  4. If there isn’t a law against it, it’s not illegal. The last thing we need is yet another clever prosecutor trying to get creative in finding a law to fit the perceived offense. Laws are written in clear and unambiguous language, or should be. They are not word games for a prosecutor to play with and reshape to meet the needs of the moment. Write a new law. This weirdo appears to have plenty of other less headline-grabbing infractions they can charge him with. But of course they won’t.

    1. The various state laws regarding “involuntary hospitalization” (“hospitalization” referring to psychiatric hospitalization) such as the various subsections of law in the state of Ohio under Chapter 5122 of the Ohio Revised Code might scare the heck out of you. This law in Ohio isn’t especially unique, and I believe it’s similar (if not identical) to the law in most (or all) other states, and allows for people to be “detained” (locked up in a psychiatric hospital) based upon medical opinions rendered by a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist ABSENT ANY ACCUSATION OF CRIMINAL CONDUCT.

      This is the approach taken in more and more instances where criminal prosecution is questionable, and it often leads to what in tort law is referred to as “abuse of process” — meaning the use of legal process to achieve an ulterior purpose for which the process was not designed.

      1. Here in PA we call it 302-ing, after the code that allows it as in:
        “You hear about Bob last night? He went crazy.”
        “Yeah they 302’d his a**”

        1. Yeah — that’s similar to the law in Ohio, except that it allows for 120 hours to hold a respondent for involuntary evaluation, whereas in Ohio the hold for involuntary evaluation cannot exceed 72 hours. There may be other differences, but that’s the first one I noticed. It’s likely that other differences, if any, are merely slight procedural differences.

          1. That was MY reply, except that I forgot to enter my name and email address before hitting the Post button.

    2. Do you recall the prosecution of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm? One of the Big 6, and later Big 5 public accounting firms. The DOJ, in the wake of the Enron scandal, flipped the worst of the Enrcon offenders against their accountants, utilizing a cobbled-together non-existant statute based upon portions of two existing statutes. The District Court found against Andersen, the Circuit Court affirmed the conviction; the Supreme Court reversed unanimously, but too late – the firm was destroyed. That was this century.

      So as far as the DOJ is concerned, yes, laws are word games for prosecutors to play with.

      1. Trump just needs to FIRE all of his totally worthless LIEyers, and then write letters to the fake judges who want him jailed, and demand to know where his written guarantee of actually getting a fair trial is located, so he can make a copy of it! Without that guarantee of a fair trial, all of them instantly devolve into one of two things. Either it is a pure gamble like a coin toss with the outcome unknown beforehand, or, it is a rigged up scam with the outcome known well in advance! Regardless of which one it is, it is his escape hatch from the scam we call the legal system/matrix, because no man or woman can be forced to gamble against their will, and no man or woman can be forced to participate in any kind of a crime, if they do not want to do so!
        The legal system is based upon committing fraud and other crimes, and that is why it is totally voluntary to participate in it at any time! Who can say that we must play along in a scam that is set up to rip us off?!?!

  5. I recall reading about a “butt sniffer” working the library at Cal Poly University. That was about 10 years ago. I ahve not read about any butt sniffers in the last 10 years, so thankfully I think this trend is not catching on.

  6. “It’s the [Obama], stupid!”

    – James Carville

    Obama is “fundamentally transforming” the United States of America.

    Oh, you betcha!

    The reality is, however, that it’s not Obama; it is the milquetoast, actual Americans who are standing idly by, allowing Obama to destroy America and accomplish his transformation.

    They have been standing idly by for some time.

    The one-party, communist state of California was destroyed a long, long time ago.


      The phantom remorse and shame of the liberal, guilt-ridden, milquetoast Americans is fantastic and imaginary.

      Like voodoo and hoodoo, it doesn’t work if you don’t believe.


    If American justice let this apparently convicted, appalling monster, Bill Cosby, go free, it will never credibly find against “The Sniffer.” How is it, by the way, that this Cosby judge was not Drawn and Quartered, constituting a commensurate legal penalty.

    If American justice allowed this apparently de facto, convicted, appalling monster, Bill Cosby, to go free, it could never credibly find against “The Sniffer.” How is it, by the way, that the Cosby judge was not Drawn and Quartered, constituting a commensurate, legal penalty?

    Bill Cosby’s Sex Crime Convictions Overturned by Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He Will Soon Be Free.

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an opinion early Wednesday afternoon that vacated the 83-year-old entertainer’s 2018 conviction on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. The shocking turn of events comes after Cosby’s attorneys appealed to the Keystone State’s highest court last December to argue that prosecutors violated his constitutional rights. Specifically, defense attorneys argued that the trial judge’s decision to call five additional accusers was prejudicial to his due process rights. Additionally, Cosby argued that a prior non-prosecution agreement with a former prosecutor should have precluded his prosecution entirely. In a lengthy 79-page opinion, the court took up the latter issue and found in Cosby’s favor — rendering discussion of the former issue moot.

    – Law & Crime, Jun 30, 2021

  8. Ok folks lets play a game of “who am i”. The first one to guess correctly gets a case of bud light.

    I have been an expert on butt sniffing for 60 years. I came out of the birth canal face down and have been honing my skills ever since. What you fail to recognize is that this is all Trump’s fault. You are too busy giving your lame analysis to Fox News (the only buttholes i refuse to put my nose up). There is no evidence that Biden has ever sniffed a butthole. And just because his son hunter is one, doesnt mean we can extrapolate that he has sniffed him either.
    Trump trump trump (x30). You can bet he’s gonna get his butthole sniffed in jail.
    And all the people on this terrible blog that are joking about this guy in california, your remarks arent anti-racist, so they must be racist. You should stop this insanity and go back on Hannity. See, i alliterate while the fox hosts are illiterate.
    (Insert 50 more lines of useless drivel)
    And I will get to the rest of whats wrong with your columns when i return from my new favorite exercise—-whiffyoga.

  9. So it might cost the guy a fine of $1,000. He’ll make ten times that for one appearance on the view. Whoopie!!

  10. Probably a form of mental illness, but if it’s a crime, nobody “nose” what statute he broke.

  11. Ah yes, the malodorous scent of a Joe Biden protege. Professor Turley, how dare you denigrate this man. You somehow do not understand that in California such a man is held in high esteem. Who are you to judge whether his actions are deviant in nature. I understand that he is being considered for a prominent role in a drag queen children’s story hour. Now that he’s come out his future is most certainly secure.

  12. I heard that Biden’s HHS secretary wants to help the guy by giving him a job. Henceforth he will be in charge of determining everyone’s gender.

    1. @susan

      I think all of us had the same thought (including, though unannounced, the Professor, I suspect 😂).

      Biden clearly has all of the same dysfunction as this perp, but *crickets*, ESPECIALLY with blue CA voters (ah, but I repeat myself 😂). The double standard is so glaring, and so clearly tied to wealth and ideology at this point, I am convinced roughly 90% of Americans that don’t care are literally high, literally all the time, or so badly brain damaged by technology they might as well be (my wife and I are actually seeing what are now PERFECTLY Pavlovian responses in new students regarding technology that has been shoved in their faces since infancy, but that is for another time).

      I think a lot of sleepy folks just assume, through ignorance, willful or otherwise, as with STDs, things like stalking are no longer a thing until it creeps into their reality distortion bubble and stares them in the face, no pun intended. He deserves to be locked up, but he ain’t the only one (*cough*Biden crime family*cough*).

  13. Boy do i pine for my childhood days, when “whiffle balls” was not an action, but something we hit with a plastic bat…

  14. I suggest, because her privacy was violated in a way that would offend the average person, and privacy is a tangible thing according to the law, that this POS stole the woman’s privacy, and since the theft was from the person it can be charged as a felony.

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