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CROWN POINT — A 22-year-old Lake Station man faces a felony count of public indecency claiming that recent incidents of masturbating in public in Porter and Lake counties follow similar offenses in the military.

Hunter Brennan was convicted in 2014 in military court on counts of abusive sexual contact, assault consummated by a battery and indecent viewing, according to new charging documents.

Those offenses, for which he was sentenced to one month and 30 days of confinement, are "substantially equivalent" to the new allegations, according to court records.

"Both crimes are sexual in nature, have the element of intent for another to see him in a state of nudity or arouse the sexual desires of another," the charging documents read.

Brennan was charged this week in Lake County with a felony count of public indecency with a prior conviction, a misdemeanor count of public indecency and misdemeanor indecent exposure, according to court records.

The charges stem from allegations he was spotted by a woman shortly before 7 p.m. June 9 masturbating in a vehicle outside the Mather's Lather Laundry Mat on Liverpool Road in Lake Station, police said.

The woman said Brennan had parked near her vehicle causing her to look over and see him exposing himself, police said. After going inside the business and having the manager call police, she said Brennan moved his vehicle to another side of the building.

"Additionally, while Brennan was doing this there were two juveniles present at the business which could have fallen victim to observing Brennan, and foot traffic around the business was moderate as well," according to charging documents.

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Officers responding to the scene said they discovered Brennan with his pants partly down.

"He admitted he became 'caught up in the moment, and he was touching himself,' " police said.

Police said they discovered Brennan had a warrant out of Porter County for a similar incident.

He was charged with a single misdemeanor count of public indecency in Porter County after a woman told police she saw Brennan masturbating in the Portage Wal-Mart parking lot along U.S. 6 shortly before 8 a.m. May 16.

Brennan, who was spotted in his parked vehicle, reportedly told police he was looking at pornography. He also admitted that he was exposing himself from his shorts.

Brennan pleaded guilty June 10 to the Porter County charge and was sentenced to 120 days in jail, according to court records.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.