09-05-2011, 05:09 PM
Man Convicted of 16 Counts of Indecent Exposure
Alvin Zubrowski, aka the Vegas Flasher, was convicted yesterday
on 16 counts of indecent exposure, one count of criminal sexual
conduct against a minor, burglary and conspiracy charges.
Zubrowski, 48, had reportedly exposed himself to sixteen women
over a six-week period around the metropolitan area. He was
arrested in front of the Excalibur, released on bail, then broke
into and office and stole some photographs of illusionist Criss
Angel to force the star to pay one million dollars. He was
subsequently rearrested and kept in custody until his trial.
During court proceedings, Zubrowski had been spotted
exposing himself under the table by a member of the jury.
He was removed from the courtroom immediatly while
a thirty-minute recess was declared.
The court sentenced Zubrowski to ten to fifteen years
imprisonment, plus three hundred hours of community
Criss set down the newspaper. "Well, that's that," he mumbled to himself. He laughed silently. "What an (bleep)hole, whipping it out in the courtroom like that!" he said to himself as he tossed the newspaper aside.
Putting the Vegas Flasher out of his mind for good, he rose from the sofa and headed for his bedroom to dress for the day. Though he had a large wardrobe, his outfit of choice was the ragged-jeans-and-t-shirt ensemble, his bling was just his Believe cross. Today, he'd be rehersing for the new episode of MindFreak, involving levitating an entire audience, and so he kept it simple. No more dangerous demonstrations, he had promised his mother and brothers--at least for now.
His mother had decided to stay with Costa for the winter, sparing him the expense of booking a suite for her. As much as he enjoyed his mother's company, he wholeheartedly agreed with her choice of lodging; she'd have more privacy at Costa's house. Being at the Luxor made her vulnerable to overzealous fans who wanted the honor of being with Mama Angel. He marveled that the strain didn't affect her health, especially at her age. At Costa's house, she'd be in a more relaxed atmosphere, with more privacy. Yes, it was all for the best.
Dressed and ready for the street, Criss went down to the lobby and headed for the Production Office. He felt serene, almost lightheaded. The stresses and strains of the past few months--the missing nude photos, the blackmail, the YouTube video of him in the shower, the Flasher accosting his mother, his cousin's wrongful injury suit and suspension from the Excalibur match--were all behind him now. Alvin and Kevin were behind bars where they belonged, and Costa got his pictures back (he hoped; he wasn't sure, so he made a mental note to ask him), George had been reinstated in amateur boxing and was now training for the next match, and his little press conference had defused what would have been an embarrassing scandal. He was quite proud of the way he had handled the situation; it saved face as well as his career. Many people respected him for it, despite the lewd comments from various comedians on late night talk shows. Oh, well, it wasn't the first time he'd been exposed on TV.
Well, that was history as far as he was concerned. Everything was going to be all right now, he assured himself. God was in His heaven and all was right with the world. Life goes on, he thought philosophically. He strode to the Production Office with a song in his heart and a spring in his step. The spring and song, however, wavered when he spotted another note taped to the office door. What is it this time? he wondered irritably. It'd better be from the fire marshal or something, because I'm getting fed up with this!
He yanked the note from the door and read it. To his relief, it was from the fire marshal, announcing an annual fire safety inspection sometime next week. Criss shrugged, crumpled the note and went into the office, his good humor restored.
The staff already on duty bid him good morning. His assistant, Jennifer, handed him his daily correspondence as he passed. Criss took the stack of papers and envelopes and retreated to his office. Among the usual invoices, insurance statements, memos and other communiques dealing with his show, a very familiar large Manila envelope stood out. Curious, he tossed everything else aside and opened it.
Sure enough, the envelope contained the controversial photographs Costa had taken of him. But why were they sent to him? They were Costa's photos--why weren't they sent to his house instead of the Production Office? He checked the return address on the envelope: James Meridian, LVMPD. Detective Meridian had obviously decided it was easier to mail them to the Luxor since he didn't know where his brother lived. Made perfect sense.
He sifted through the photos one more time. If I had known how much trouble I'd get into, I'd never have consented to pose for these, he said to himself as he examined the eight-by-ten black and white glossies. God! What is it about nudity that gets people so bugged, anyway? Who was it that said we're all naked under our clothes? Steve Martin, I think. Or was it Tim Allen? No, he said don't stand close to a naked man--that was the title of his book, I think. Anyway, it makes perfect sense--under our clothes, we're all the same naked human beings.
A sheet of note paper caught his eye. He withdrew it from the stack of photos and read it:
Criss can I have copies of these? You are so HOT! Love, Helen. PS I was on the jury BTW. We loved looking at these while we were in the jury room!
The note ended with an address and a smiley face.
Criss' head dropped in exasperation. With a sinking heart, he realized that whether he liked it or not, the nude photos were going to be very popular for years to come. Ten, twenty, even thirty years from now, someone was going to download them from somewhere to ogle and drool over. Even when he was finally dead and buried, they would still exist in cyberspace for everyone to see. Would they show them at his funeral? He hoped not. He prayed not. His life was colorful enough without the indignity of showing off in his birthday clothes.
But then, maybe by that time people would be more relaxed about nudity. It was a pipe dream, but morals and attitudes change over time, he realized. Maybe when he was gone from this life, someone would find these photos and appreciate them for the artistic value his brother Costa had placed upon them instead of condemning then as pornography. Maybe, just maybe, someday people would celebrate the human body as the ancient Greeks did instead of the early Christian fathers who denigrated the flesh as sinful. Or there could be such a moral backlash that everyone would be required to cover their bodies like Muslims, from head to toe. In twenty or thirty years, anything was possible--either society would be more accepting of nudity to the point of complacency, or so ridgidly moral that anything even hinting of bare flesh, including the pictures, would be tracked down and destroyed.
Whatever the outcome, the entire episode had given Criss food for thought about his attitude toward nudity. His ancient ancestors had glorified the flesh, but the later ones repudiated it. Shame had become ingrained into everyone's consciousness since the days of St. Augustine. Over the centuries, however, the issue turned less toward revulsion and more toward privacy and respect. Sex itself went from an orgiastic celebration of fertility from its pagan days and had transformed into a sacrament between officially married couples, restricted to the bedroom, away from prying eyes; no one liked to have their most intimate moments displayed in public, especially in front of innocent children.
That must be the main reason why society kept it covered: to keep from corrupting and traumatizing children. The pixeling and blurring out of bare behinds and genitals, the "parental discretion is advised" disclaimers on television, the FCC regulation restricting "adult" fare to after ten PM--it was all for the sake of protecting kids from seeing the human body unclothed in the name of decency and morality. As for privacy, well, there was practically none these days, not with reality TV dominating the airwaves. Everything was laid bare in more ways than one. As for protecting children from the trauma of nudity, that was a joke; kids these days were so technologically savvy that they could find ways to get around if not totally ignore the restrictions placed upon them. Criss would have wagered his next royalty check that some preteen Loyal had already downloaded those photos from xferret and filed them away for personal enjoyment.
Criss read Helen's note again, then tossed it in the wastebasket. He put the photos back in the envelope and forwarded them to Costa's inbox. No, he decided, he would not honor her request. Attitudes and morals may change over the years, but privacy was still a constant, especially his own. The photos were for his brother's portfolio, not for his fans.
Sorry, Helen, but I'm going to have to turn down your request. There's only so much of me I allow the Loyals and the public to see. My body's a temple, not a brothel--it's mine and mine alone. I have a right to privacy as much as you do. You're just going to have to respect that.
In a small suburban neighborhood somewhere in the heartland of America, twelve-year-old Krissy sat at the family PC. Both her parents were working but would be home soon, and her younger sister was playing in the basement with friends, so she could work undisturbed for the next hour. It wasn't much time, but it was all she needed.
With luck and cunning, she logged onto xferret.com, circumvented the security system by lying about her age, and keyworded Criss Angel. In a flash, the link to her idol appeared on the monitor. She clicked onto a link titled Nude Photos of Criss Angel and sat back to enjoy the show, savoring picture after lucious picture of the MindFreak in all his naked glory. Oh, God, he's so hot! she thought to herself.
She was not allowed to print them out, of course, but she did save them by inserting a small flash drive into the computer and transferring them into the memory, preserving them forever. If she had saved them in her Favorites file, her parents would find them during one of their periodic inspections to monitor their children's use of the Internet, and that would mean major big-time trouble.
After the photos were safely in her flash drive, she took the added precaution of deleting any record of her ever having been on xferret. Then she took the flash drive, hooked it onto her keychain with her housekey, her locker key, and her CA logo keyfob, and stuffed it into the pocket of her jeans, smiling to herself. Let her mom and dad think she was an innocent, wholesome little girl. They would never know the secret she kept in the little green flashdrive dangling from her keychain. Criss' sexy, naked body was hers to enjoy, over and over again, forever and ever and ever...