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Matter of Alfonso Cortes Medina

The Board held that California Penal Code section 314(1) (every person who willfully and lewdly exposes his person or private parts in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed is guilty of a misdemeanor) is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Unlike other Board cases that held simple indecent exposure was not a CIMT, the Board held that indecent exposure coupled with the element of lewd intent made PC 314(1) categorically a CIMT.

In reaching that conclusion, the Board rejected the contrary interpretation of the Ninth Circuit in Nunez v. Holder, 594 F.3d 1124 (9th Cir. 2010) that PC 314(1) is not categorically a CIMT. It invoked authority to interpret the CIMT definition pursuant to Brand-X and held that the interpretation of lewdness for PC 314(1) by California courts would always involve moral turpitude. It rejected an argument that nude dancing at a bar might be prosecuted under PC 314(1), and that such dancing would not be a CIMT, as unrealistic and contrary to the California Supreme Court's decision in Morris v. Municipal Court, 652 P.2d 51, 59 n.13 (Cal. 1982).