HARRISBURG – The disorderly conduct conviction of Jason Roy Waugaman for giving his ex-wife, Kacie Boeshore, the middle finger while exchanging their children was overturned by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania on Oct. 31.
Boeshore and Waugaman have two children together who were 6 and 7 years old at the time of trial. In November 2014, Waugaman brought the children to be dropped off at the parking lot of Boeshore’s apartment complex as part of a prearranged custody agreement.
After the exchange, Boeshore and the children began to walk toward the apartment complex. Boeshore stated Waugaman said something to her that she did not hear clearly.
She says she started back toward the vehicle and stood in front of it, leaving the children approximately five feet behind her. According to Boeshore, Waugaman got back into his vehicle and accelerated toward her, turning the vehicle within three feet of striking her. As he drove off, he displayed the middle finger to Boeshore.
Waugaman was charged with recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct on March 10, 2015. On Sept. 30, 2015, the trial court found Waugaman not guilty of recklessly endangering another person, but did find him guilty of disorderly conduct because he displayed his middle finger. The trial court imposed a sentence of 90 days probation, as well as costs.
On Oct. 5, 2015, Waugaman challenged the conviction, but the trial court denied the motion on Oct. 27, 2015, explaining that Waugaman’s gesture was obscene because his children “may well have seen their father’s conduct in relation to their mother as explicitly sexual in nature.”
This year, on Oct. 31, the Superior Court determined Waugaman’s gesture was not obscene as defined in state law. It was found that while the gesture conveys disrespect, it is not explicitly sexual in nature and that it is doubtful that Waugaman’s children perceived the gesture as sexually explicit. Because of this, the gesture does not violate Pennsylvania’s disorderly conduct statute.
The Superior Court determined the children probably were not negatively affected by their father’s gesture to their mother. The docket does not state why the charge of recklessly endangering another person was dropped.