Seattle police: Masturbating driver targeted Metro passengers

Seattle police: Masturbating driver targeted Metro passengers
SEATTLE -- A Seattle driver accused of masturbating behind the wheel while gawking at a woman on a passing Metro bus has been charged with indecent exposure.

King County prosecutors contend Jeffrey Robertson exposed himself to the woman shortly before 7 a.m. on Aug. 21 while stuck in traffic in downtown Seattle. Robertson, 43, has been charged with felony indecent exposure.

Speaking with police, the woman claimed the incident was actually the third time Robertson had exposed himself to her in recent months. According to charging papers, the woman said Robertson appeared to slow his car each time to pull alongside the bus near the intersection of 9th Avenue and Stewart Street.

Concerned she was somehow being targeting by strange man, the woman called 911 and reported the black Volvo station wagon's license plate number. According to charging papers, the woman provided photos and video showing Robertson in the act.

Police then contacted Robertson, who said he was "confident" he was not involved in the incident.

A criminal record check showed Robertson had been caught 18 years before masturbating outside a sorority house window at the University of Washington. He was charged and ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.

The woman told police Robertson on each occasion parked in a loading zone on the block, and then pulled into traffic as the bus approached. Stopped next to the bus, she continued, Robertson rolled down his passenger window while masturbating.

Recounting an interview with the woman, a Seattle detective said she reported seeing Robertson's car approach another bus.

The driver, she said, is "clearly looking at the bus to see who is looking at him and who will gaze down to look in his car."

"I would hate if a child was sitting in the seat I was in," the woman told police.

The woman went on to say that Robertson was "in full salute" on each occasion, and seemed to be masturbating.

The detective contacted Robertson a second time on Sept. 12, and presented him with a photo taken by the woman. Police contend Robertson previously claimed not to have been in the area when the photo was taken.

Writing the court, the detective said Robertson then admitted to repeatedly exposing himself to bus passengers.

Claiming public masturbation is not a "hobby" of his, Robertson said he had "dealt with this before" and that the allegations were a "wake-up call," the detective told the court.

"I asked Robertson if this behavior was a 'turn on,' or if it was a 'thrill,'" the detective said in court papers. "Robertson responded that he didn't mean to 'alarm' the bus passengers."

According to the detective, Robertson acknowledged that, because it was "early in the morning," there were probably better ways for him to spend his time. Robertson is alleged to have told the detective he believes he is now "100 percent" in control of his actions.

Robertson has been charged with felony indecent exposure. He has not been jailed in the case.