A judge Tuesday dismissed one charge against a man accused of exposing himself to three junior high girls and trying to lure another one into his car last December.
District Judge Michael Malone threw out one count of fleeing or attempting to elude police because detectives were not in uniform when they stopped Stephen R. Stout, 47, after a short pursuit. Stout still faces one charge of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child and three counts and lewd and lascivious behavior, which are all felonies.
Prosecutors accuse Stout of trying to lure a 13-year-old West Junior High School student into his car on Dec. 20 and exposing himself to three other girls outside of the school.
Malone said the law requires police not only to be in a car with lights and sirens but to also be in uniform to make an arrest for fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement. Lawrence police detectives Greg Pruett and Randy Glidewell - who had badges and guns but were not in patrol uniform - were responding to the call at the school when they found Stout's vehicle, which matched a dispatch description.
But Malone also ruled that because Stout had removed his license plate, detectives had grounds to pull him over and search his vehicle for information about the car, such as registration. Detectives were also pursuing information about the accusation that he tried to lure a student into his car, Malone said.
Stout's trial is scheduled to begin Monday, but he is due in court again Thursday, where he is expected to ask for a bench trial.