San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Franklin Stephenson also ruled, however, that the defendant must stand trial on the more serious felony charge of attempting to dissuade a witness, The Stockton Record reported Wednesday.
Stephenson said he did not agree with Deputy District Attorney Stephen Taylor, who sought a misdemeanor indecent exposure charge and a felony elder abuse charge against Katherine Patterson, 58. She allegedly exposed her right buttock and thigh to people who brought charges against her daughter-in-law, the newspaper said.
Donald and Nita Reinhart were leaving a court appearance in an embezzlement case when they said Patterson told them to "kiss my ass," and dropped her pants, mooning the couple.
Stephenson said Patterson was trying to dissuade the Reinharts from continuing the case against her daughter-in-law who, they claim, bilked their charter bus company of $240,000 in cash deposits.
While the judge ruled Patterson must stand trial on the charge of attempting to dissuade a witness, he said there was no evidence the Reinharts, who are in their late 60s, suffered any effects that would classify it as elder abuse.
Taylor said Patterson and her husband were trying to bully the Reinharts into dropping their case.