We have probably all seen someone make a rude silent gesture to another person who could not see it. The question is whether something is rude even if no one sees it. In other words, does an act become rude simply by virtue of the intent of the actor or by the response of the audience? This happens sometimes in intercultural exchanges where a gesture or a statement that is not at all rude in one culture is offensive in another.
It is not clear from the story whether the woman was sighted or there were sighted people also present but the interesting question is whether if everyone present had been blind, whether legally an offense could have been said to have been committed at all. Turley says that the relevant statute is not that clear on this point. The statute says,
A person commits indecent exposure if that person exposes his or her genitals in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons under circumstances in which he or she knows or should know that this conduct is likely to offend, affront or alarm.
Of course, if no one could see, then no one would know it happened to even complain. But what if, hypothetically, the person announced that he was exposing himself? Would the mere knowledge that a person had exposed himself in the vicinity be sufficient to cause someone offense or alarm even if they could not see?
My own feeling is that he would still have committed a crime since the relevant fact is whether the exposer knows or should know that such an act would cause offense and alarm.