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Man pleads guilty to flashing Athens teens

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — A Huntsville man pleaded guilty to flashing two teenagers at Wal-Mart.

Thomas Erich Durham, 46, of 1408 Wind River Drive pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent exposure before Circuit Court Judge Jimmy Woodroof on Monday.

District Attorney Kristi Valls said sentencing will be Feb. 21. He faces up to a year and $2,000 fine for each case. Indecent exposure is a misdemeanor.

Durham did not plead guilty to a felony charge of impersonating an officer, a charge he is facing in connection with flashing the teens, said Valls.

That case is set for trial April 16.

Athens police investigators said that in March, Durham got two teenage girls' attention in Wal-Mart by asking them a question.

When they faced him, his pants were unzipped and his genitals exposed, Sgt. Trevor Harris said.

The teens ran to their mother, and the mother notified an employee, Harris said.

That's when a man approached the group and identified himself as an undercover officer, Harris said. He quickly showed a badge and offered to search for the flasher.

Harris said the undercover officer went with the mother and teens to search and eventually, slipped away. That is when the teens realized the undercover officer was actually the man who exposed himself to them, Harris said. Durham allegedly donned a hat and covered his shirt with a coat to disguise his identity, Harris said.

"He won't admit to doing that," Valls said, "so we've continued that case."

Durham faces other indecent exposure charges in Madison County.

A Madison County District Court judge found Durham guilty of nine counts of indecent exposure in November, but he has appealed that and those cases are pending in Circuit Court.

According to Madison police, Durham allegedly exposed himself in April to children riding a school bus. Huntsville police have charged him with allegedly exposing himself to two girls at Super Target in March.

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