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Vancouver naked biking case comes to a close

Posted by on June 29th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Tweed Ride Portland 2010-27
Matthew Vilhauer at the Tweed Ride.
(Photos © J. Maus)

According to The Columbian newspaper, Matthew Vilhauer’s naked biking case has finally come to a close. Vilhauer was arrested for indecent exposure after biking naked during a Pedalpalooza ride in Vancouver in June 2009. Last month, a deadlocked jury left the case unresolved.

Aloha Todd and Low Bar Tour - Pedalpalooza-27
Vilhauer (with backpack) at a bar
before he was arrested.

Today, instead of extending the saga into another trial, Vilhauer agreed to plea to a lesser infraction in order to end the case. He pled guilty to agreed to accept a citation for not wearing a helmet, an infraction that carries a $50 fine. It’s interesting to note that Vilhauer was actually wearing a helmet, but apparently in the legal system, this type of plea deal is common.

Here’s more from The Columbian:

“Court-appointed defense attorney Luka Vitasovic said Tuesday that Vilhauer has accepted the city’s offer of a civil infraction.

While a helmet and shoes were the few things Vilhauer did have on, Vitasovic said it’s common practice to let someone take a lesser offense even if it doesn’t square with the facts.

“There isn’t really a ticket that covers what he was doing,” Vitasovic said. And the infraction of cycling without a helmet was one of the cheapest infractions Vitasovic could find.

Vitasovic said Vilhauer knew he’d have a decent shot at being acquitted if the city took the case to trial again, but was ready to end the case and move on.”

Read the full story at Columbian.com.

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Comments
  • kiol June 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    he pleads guilty to not wearing one of the few things he was wearing… okay, now, I know I should have taken the blue pill

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  • trail user June 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Which head?

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  • John Russell (jr98664) June 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    It’s unfortunate that he’s getting hit with that, but I guess it’s better than a lot of other ways it could have ended. I wonder if he could get that helmet ticket waived with proof of a helmet like the law usually allows? ;-)

    Then again, I’ve never gotten in trouble for cycling naked through Vancouver, even in broad daylight. At least I was wearing the legally-required helmet.

    http://tinyurl.com/schoolsout2010

    Please be advised: this short film contains some artistic nudity. As such, if you’re not comfortable watching this, (or not of legal age,) please do not watch this film. No laws were broken by me during this film.

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  • i don't get it June 29, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    If you swear to tell the truth at a court hearing, and then you plead guilty to a charge that is actually not true, isn’t that lying? Can anyone explain how the logic works to make it ok?

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  • matt picio June 29, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    The alternative was risking a conviction that could put him on the sex offender registry. I probably would have chosen the same. It’s a bunch of bull, but sometimes you have to pick your battles.

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  • Elixa June 29, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    “Vancouver: Helmets Required, Panties Optional”

    duh, I get that now.

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  • anonymous June 29, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Canada has been making it quite painful for anyone to enter if they’ve got a citation.

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  • mark June 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I think Canada will be ok with him over a “no helmet” law, not so ok with someone on a sex offender list. funny that just across the river that type of thing won’t get you in any trouble.

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  • Tongue Tied June 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    It was funnier when the case ended in a hung jury…

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  • matthew vilhauer June 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    just to clear up a few points.

    accepting a helmet infraction does not require a plea of innocence or guilt.

    indecent exposure is not a sex crime therefore registration is not required. it is however a criminal offense rather than an infraction.

    i have accepted the infraction to resolve the issue with the city and to move on. in doing so the expense and time of a second jury trial has been avoided. it’s an out for both the city and me. they were gracious enough to offer and i willingly accepted.

    i’m glad it’s resolved and would like to thank everyone who supported me in this matter.

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  • kitten June 30, 2010 at 12:22 am

    it’s great that the DA in Vancouver has nothing better to do.

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  • Paul Tay June 30, 2010 at 1:04 am

    This is soooooooooo stupid on soooooo many levels.

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  • Red Five June 30, 2010 at 5:47 am

    This has done so much for the acceptance of cycling.

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  • Anonymous June 30, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Hipster vs the Law. They both lose.

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  • Waltzing Matilda June 30, 2010 at 6:52 am

    I’m still trying to understand why anyone would want to ride a bike naked.

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  • Anonymous June 30, 2010 at 7:13 am

    you shouldve at least covered the bar stool with something before sitting down without your panties!

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  • matt picio June 30, 2010 at 8:02 am

    “Matilda” (#14) – For fun, to promote cycling, to promote body acceptance, to make a political statement, to get closer to nature, for the pure joy of it, to get a rise out of others (pun intended, but the non-prurient reasons apply also), to irritate others, to shake up the prudes. Pick one or more reasons.

    As far as infractions go, this one should not be criminal – people can choose not to look, and there’s nothing inherent about a naked body which harms others. We have existing laws concerning stalking, assault, and other offenses which actually cause harm.

    matthew (#10) – Glad that in your case, the sex offender issue was not a factor. It still is, however, in a number of states, so non-Oregon, non-Washington readers of this blog should take note, and decide accordingly whether or not they want to ride naked in public. Glad your case is resolved and that you can return to a normal life. (preparing for and enduring court cases isn’t normal by most definitions of the word – unless you’re an attorney) ;-)

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  • Mike B. June 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I like the top photo to this story. fully clothed = no helmet, totally naked = helmet.

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  • Ted Buehler June 30, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Matthew, congrats on getting this behind you, looking forward to having you on the next Sects of Vancouver BC tour.

    Also, my understanding is that the settlement of this case will provide some level of legal precedent for riding nekkid in The Couve without getting arrested. I look forward to any upcoming rides that may observe this precedent…

    Ted Buehler
    (And, as always, thanks to Jonathan for the coverage, so to speak)

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  • Pete July 1, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Just witnessed the San Francisco WNBR. Still trying to get that image out of my mind…

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