It’s not often that a serial public masturbation story boasts logic anywhere near this sound. That’s not to say it was the best idea anyone’s ever had (not even close), but grading on the usual intelligence curve, it’s pretty clear that Benjamin Grafius at least took some time to think things out.
Police say a New Holland man who exposed himself to people during a three-month spree targeted Amish females because he knew they couldn’t call police. Benjamin R. Grafius, 39, is charged with exposing himself to the females and masturbating, often times stopping his vehicle to engage with the victims or smile at them.
The incidents occurred last summer in several rural jurisdictions. At least four of the incidents involved children. At least two of the crimes happened at roadside market stands tended by Amish females. Another victim was in a horse-drawn buggy.
Grafius admitted to the conduct, saying, in a police interview, he started a “few years” ago after a relationship ended.
But while he clearly took some time to think things out, he should have taken just a little bit more. Specifically the time he instead spent doing his thing in the path of a jogging, off-duty state trooper rather than his usual audience.
Police got a major break in the case in September when the suspect, who wasn’t yet identified as Grafius, attempted to target an off-duty female state trooper who was running in Strasburg Township.
Police had a description of the man and the vehicle from the prior incidents.
Grafius parked his vehicle – which matched the gray sedan involved – and looked at the woman, who noticed he was smiling at her with his shirt unbuttoned. As the off-duty trooper past the vehicle, she noticed the man inside wasn’t wearing pants. When she looked back, the vehicle was gone.
Grafius, who now knows that though the Amish may not have telephones they aren’t so laid back and behind the times that they won’t find a way to talk to the cops, was charged with four felony counts of unlawful contact with a minor and eight misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure.