Couple Arrested for Valentine's Role-Playing Sex

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on February 15, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Don't drive and role-play. Actually, just keep the role-playing behind your bedroom doors. It's for the good of all mankind. And your criminal record.

Just take a look at Nikolas Harbar and Stephanie Pelzner, a Portland, Ore. couple arrested for role-playing on Valentine's Day. Police carried out a citywide search for Harbar after a witness reported he was driving around town with a naked woman in his backseat.

She was bound and gagged.

The woman turned out to be Pelzner, Harbar's girlfriend. The couple told police they were just "doing some Valentine's Day role-playing," reports the Los Angeles Times. Portland police didn't find it funny and charged the pair with second degree disorderly conduct.

They also posted the story on the Bureau's official Facebook page, where commenters have had mixed reactions. Some are even fighting over whether the stunt constitutes disorderly conduct under the relevant statute.

It possibly does.

Oregon Revised Statutes section 166.025 says the following:

(1) A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct in the second degree if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, the person:

(a) Engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior...

If you can get past the bad punctuation, the statute actually imposes liability on persons who intentionally cause or recklessly create a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm by engaging in "violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior."

Did the couple's role-playing recklessly create a risk of public alarm? It would seem so. Was the risk created by "violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior"? Quite possibly yes.

Though there's some room for interpretation, it was reasonable for officers to believe Nikolas Harbar and Stephanie Pelzner violated the law. They were thus properly arrested for role-playing. Now it's up to the prosecutor and perhaps a judge to affirmatively interpret the law.

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