Man charged after he exposes himself to woman at Shawnee Mission Park, police say

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- A beautiful day at the park turned ugly for one metro woman after police say a man exposed himself to her. The KU Medical Center security guard now faces charges of sexual battery and lewd conduct.

Johnson County Park Police told FOX 4’s Megan Dillard a woman was parked at a pull off, off John Barkley Drive Wednesday afternoon in Shawnee Mission Park.

“The weather was nice yesterday, she was coming out and enjoy a day in the park.” Sergeant Chris Pennington said

Sgt. Pennington said 31-year-old Michael Erler backed up to the woman’s car and walked up to her window.

“Exposed himself to her, grabbed her breast, asked her if she'd like to hook up, to which she declined. Kind of pushed him away,” he said.

Police said the man left and the victim called 911.

“She was a very good witness, she gave a very good description of who the person was, description of the truck, including the license plate,” said Sgt. Pennington.

Park police say that kind of activity doesn’t often happen in the Johnson County park.

“It's quite rare, especially in Shawnee Mission Park because we have such a high officer presence so many people on patrol at a time.”

Erler made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. He has bonded out and his next court date is scheduled for May 1. A spokesperson with the KU Medical Center told FOX 4:

“Michael Erler was hired on 2-17-14. He has been relieved of duty pending an administrative investigation.”

She also explained more about Erler’s position as a security office.

“Unlike KU Police officers, who are sworn to duty, have arrest powers and carry firearms, safety and security officers drive buses, escort people to their cars, write parking tickets, etc. (They are not sworn in, do not have arrest powers, do not carry firearms).”

FOX 4 stopped by an apartment address listed for the victim. The person who answered the door said she no longer lived at that home.

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