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Oelwein man charged with indecent exposure in Independence


A former Oelwein City Councilman and current captain on the Oelwein Fire Department faces two separate charges of indecent exposure in Independence.

Independence Police arrested Benjamin James Weber of Oelwein for indecent exposure Aug. 29, after he was positively identified from a photo lineup at police headquarters. A no-contact order was also requested on behalf of the victim.

Weber, 37, is alleged to have exposed himself while seated in his car at a mobile sweet corn stand in the Casey’s General Store parking lot, 1906 Third Ave. SE, Independence, where he had stopped to make a purchase Thursday afternoon, Aug. 22. According to the report, Weber was in his vehicle when the female employee came up to the car window to exchange a bundle of sweet corn for cash and he was exposed from his zipper.

The victim wrote down the license plate number, noting that it was an Iowa Fire Fighter plate, and reported it to police.

Weber is also facing charges for an alleged separate incident of the same kind that occurred on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 8, at the same location.

Weber served as a Councilman at-large for the city of Oelwein from 2013-2018, resigning after moving outside of the city limits. He served alongside former Councilwoman and now Oelwein Mayor Peggy Sherrets, who considered him a friend and valued public servant.

“I have not yet spoken with Ben or his attorney,” Sherrets said in a message to the Daily Register Wednesday. “All I can say is that Ben was an excellent City Councilman that I respect very much. I pray that this will all be taken care of quickly.”

Indecent exposure is a serious misdemeanor and is punishable by one year in jail, a fine of $1,875, and placement on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.