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Police make arrest in indecent exposure case

(Photo courtesy of Tempe Police)
(Photo courtesy of Tempe Police)

Tempe Police arrested a man Saturday who they say exposed himself and masturbated in front of a female ASU student, although it’s not certain he is responsible for the recent series of public sexual indecency crimes.

The 43-year-old Tucson man was arrested Saturday afternoon at Quadrangles Apartments in Tempe in connection with the indecent exposure incident at another apartment complex.

The man, Matthew Flentge, called out to the 24-year-old woman and exposed himself while she was sunbathing around 12:20 p.m. Saturday at Papago Park Village condominium complex in Tempe. He then fled the scene before police arrived, police reported.

According to police, around 12:45 p.m. a surveillance officer saw Flentge walking around Quadrangles Apartments and recognized him as fitting the description of a man involved in a series of indecent exposure cases that escalated to sexual abuse Wednesday.

Police reported that in each of the incidents, victims said a man called out to get their attention while they were sunbathing and would proceed to expose himself and masturbate.

In the incident that occurred Wednesday, a man removed a woman’s swimsuit top and grabbed her breast, police reported.

Tempe Police spokesman Sgt. Steven Carbajal said in response to the string of indecent exposure cases occurring at apartment complexes around the Tempe campus, police put surveillance officers at similar locations in an attempt to catch the suspect.

Carbajal said police are unsure yet if Flentge is behind all of the cases, but he matches the description given by the victims and Saturday’s incident is similar to the other cases.

When Flentge was contacted at Quadrangles, he had no identification on him and said that he was looking for a friend in the complex, Carbajal said.

Carbajal said the officer was able to identify Flentge and discovered he is a level-three registered sex offender. His offenses include indecent exposure and sexual conduct with a minor, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Tempe Police are still investigating why the Tucson resident was in Tempe and where he was staying. Detectives are also working to determine if he was involved in the other incidents, and they plan to bring in the other victims to see if they can recognize him, Carbajal said.

Flentge was booked in Tempe City Jail on suspicion of indecent exposure, public sexual indecency and being a sex offender failing to carry identification, according to police.

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