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San Francisco Homeless Man Accused Of Sex Offense Cleared

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A San Francisco homeless man accused of masturbating in public has been cleared after a jury found he was merely trying to urinate against a wall.

The San Francisco Public Defender's Office said that 46-year-old Anthony Richey was facing up to six months in jail and lifetime registration as a sex offender before he was found not guilty Monday.

Richey was charged with indecent exposure and lewd conduct after a passer-by called 911 in July to report a man was masturbating in a street corner alcove in the Tenderloin District.

During trial, the defender's office said the 911 caller conceded Richey could have been urinating.

Physicians also testified that Richey had a 10-year history of medical problems that made urination difficult.

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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