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.