A transgender woman who used changing facilities at the Xenia YMCA has been charged with three counts of public indecency, court records show.
Rachel Glines, of Fairborn, was charged in Xenia Municipal Court with three counts of public indecency, for incidents in September, November, and a third incident between November 2021 and 2022 in which three underage girls were present. The charges are all fourth-degree misdemeanors.
A Xenia city councilman says if the city is successful in prosecuting Glines, they may go after the YMCA of Greater Dayton next for aiding and abetting.
The YMCA of Greater Dayton has said that state non-discrimination laws require it to allow transgender individuals to use locker rooms, changing rooms and bathrooms that align with their gender identity. They say posted locker room guidelines ask patrons to “remain properly covered while in public areas of the locker room.”
Xenia police received “several complaints of a naked man in the females’ locker room” of the YMCA branch, which is located on Progress Drive in Xenia, according to the criminal complaint.
Neither Glines nor her lawyer could be reached for comment. She is due in court on Feb. 6.
In a Jan. 24 video posted to YouTube and Facebook, Xenia council president Will Urschel told a meeting of the Greene County Tea Party that if the city is able to successfully prosecute the person involved, they may bring legal action against the YMCA for aiding and abetting the alleged crime. No charges have yet been filed against the organization.
Urschel’s comments were slammed by Democrats after the video was circulated online.
“It’s extremely disappointing to see our elected officials — who are, let’s face it, vast majority Republican — that instead of focusing on the issues that are hurting people right now in Ohio, and in Greene County, with inflation and good-paying jobs being harder to come by every day, this is what they’re focusing on,” said Kim McCarthy, chair of the Greene County Democratic Party.
Urschel said Monday that the criminal case is about enforcing public indecency laws regardless of gender, adding that his opinion did not represent those of the city of Xenia. He said he did not know he was being recorded in the video posted online.
Urschel added that the murkiness of Ohio’s non-discrimination laws means that civil rights laws and public indecency law are in conflict, and that Xenia could potentially exercise home rule under Ohio law to define sex inside city limits for matters of litigation.
“Personally, if there’s this level of confusion, I think we should resolve that confusion,” he said. “The pendulum has swung to where gender identity rights have trumped laws of privacy and public indecency. There’s things that we could do to address it in a more balanced way.”
The city of Xenia released a statement Tuesday regarding the social media video, saying the city’s law department “has no plan or intention of bringing charges against the YMCA, as the required level of culpability is not met based on the facts as presented.”
“The decision to file charges was based on the facts presented to the Law Department by the Xenia Police Division and the language of state statute,” the city’s statement reads.
“The proper administration of the criminal justice process is a preeminent priority for the City of Xenia and its departments and divisions,” the city said, adding that it’s not the policy of the city’s Law Department to allow “internal or external political actors to participate in criminal charging decisions.”
According to the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union, there is currently no state law in Ohio that protects LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in public accommodations. Some cities have adopted their own non-discrimination ordinances, including Dayton and Yellow Springs.
Last year, Greene County Prosecutor David Hayes at the request of Xenia officials sought an opinion from the Ohio Attorney General about whether state anti-discrimination law applies to public restrooms in city buildings and parks as well.
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