New Orleans mayoral candidate arrested for masturbating in California Uber

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Frank Scurlock was charged with assault three months after the alleged masturbation when he aggressively approached a policeman in front of a Confederate monument.

Frank Scurlock, a Democratic candidate for the 2017 New Orleans mayoral election running under the slogan “Let’s make New Orleans fun again,” allegedly masturbated in an Uber vehicle on Feb. 10 in Santa Monica, California. Due to the ambiguity of the case, however, he was not charged until Aug. 31. Scurlock appeared in court Oct. 16. in Los Angeles County Criminal Court to plead not guilty to one count of lewd conduct.

This court appearance occurred just two days after the New Orleans mayoral primary, in which Scurlock won less than 1 percent of the total votes cast.

After the Uber incident, the driver reported to the police and prosecutors that she was driving on the freeway and heard noises from Scurlock in the back seat. At the sudden thought that he was masturbating, the driver pulled the vehicle over and opened the door.

She found Scurlock with “his pants around his ankles, his shirt pulled up and his erect penis in his hand.” The driver immediately ordered Scurlock to get out of the car and walked to a nearby gas station to call the police.

Shortly after the driver left, Scurlock fled the scene. The police tracked him down and went to Scurlock’s hotel, where they apprehended him. The driver later distinguished him from a photo lineup. Terry White, Santa Monica chief deputy city attorney, reported that Scurlock has “no comment” on what happened during the Uber ride. Scurlock told WDSU News that “the incident occurred after a long night of drinking, which impeded his recollection of the night.”

Lewd conduct is defined as “any unlawful act committed by an individual with the purpose of arousing the libido or sexual interest of themselves or the person towards which this action is directed.” Lewd conduct is considered a misdemeanor in California. Scurlock will have to register as a sex offender in California if proven guilty. It is unclear, however, if he would have to register in Louisiana as well.

The alleged masturbation in California occurred three months prior to Scurlock’s arrest in May for aggressively approaching a policeman in front of a Confederate monument removal protest in New Orleans. He was then charged with obstructing a public passage. The charge was later changed to assault, but a judge dismissed the case due to lack of evidence.

Scurlock’s platform on his website states, “My platform is simple. I’ll fix what’s broken and honor history.” Scurlock told The Advocate that he opposes the monuments’ removal because it could ignite a “Civil War II.” 

Scurlock’s pre-trial hearing for the incident of lewd conduct in California is scheduled for Nov. 22 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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