A Crescent man is facing a misdemeanor charge of outraging public decency. He’s accused of urinating in a public park in the presence of a minor.
Last week in district court, Michael John Malatesta was charged with the crime. On Friday, he pleaded not guilty in front of a Logan County judge and posted a $2,500 bond.
Earlier this year in April, Malatesta, 52, allegedly approached a 13-year-old at the trails in Highland Park in Guthrie and asked where a good place was to urinate. The male teen says he pointed toward the woods and rode away on his bike.
In May, the teen was said to have been playing at the creek when Joe – name given to the teen – approached him after seeing his bike. According to the court document, the teen stated Malatesta told him he had to urinate and that he didn’t care if he saw his private because they were both boys so it didn’t matter. The teen says he saw Malatesta genitals briefly before looking away and riding his bike home.
A few days later, the teen was reportedly riding his bike home from the park when Malatesta approached him in a burgundy SUV with a green emblem on the side and began talking about the creek. A family member saw the interaction and began to approach the vehicle, but says the SUV quickly drove away while rolling up the window.
The witness says they recognized the SUV from being frequently parked at the head start daycare parking lot. Several days later, the witness again spotted the SUV in the parking lot and took a photo of the vehicle and tag.
The photo and information was given to the Guthrie Police Department. According to the reporting officer, the car tag came back to Malatesta. Upon further investigation, the officer located a case from July 2016 where Malatesta was a suspect in a lewd act in a park. However, online records do not show any charges from that case.
If found guilty, Malatesta could face up to one year in the Logan County Jail and a fine up to $1,000. He’s expected to be back in the courtroom on Aug. 10 at 9 a.m.