THE WOODLANDS, Texas – A 55-year-old man was sentenced to seven years in prison after he was found guilty of intentionally exposing his genitals to a 7-year-old girl at The Woodlands Mall, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett W. Ligon announced Tuesday.
James Andrew Flygare was convicted of indecency with a child by exposure in the 435th District Court.
According to prosecutors, on May 4, 2022, Flygare was seen on surveillance video watching the child and waiting until she was away from her mother before approaching her. The girl’s mother was only five steps away and had only just turned her back when Flygare allegedly tapped on the child’s arm and exposed himself to her.
“An earlier, important conversation with her mother about personal safety was instrumental in the child’s quick response,” a news release from Ligon’s office said. “Her mother had previously instructed her daughter about the parts of the body no one should see or show her, and most importantly, to tell her immediately if something happened.”
With her mother’s instructions fresh in her mind, authorities said the girl immediately distanced herself from Flygare and told her mother, who quickly alerted law enforcement.
“Bystanders nearby heroically jumped into action, creating a barrier at the store door until law enforcement arrived,” the release said.
“Five steps and 11 seconds is all that it took for this defendant to act and expose a child to something she never should have been subjected to,” Assistant District Attorney Erica Ortega is quoted saying in the release. “Fortunately, an amazing mom had previously taken the time to teach her child about Stranger Danger, and it is because of that her daughter knew to get away, get to mom, and stop this man from doing it again.”
The jury returned a guilty verdict upon hearing the evidence and reviewing the surveillance video.
After the verdict, Judge Patty Maginnis heard evidence of Flygare’s alleged habit of frequenting The Woodlands Mall and making another young woman uncomfortable. That young woman testified that Flygare came to the mall every Wednesday and came by the area where she worked, blew kisses and flicked his tongue at her. She said that she reported him multiple times to mall security.
Flygare’s range of punishment was from two to 10 years in prison. After serving his time in prison, Flygare must then register for an additional 10 years as a sex offender.
“It’s the James Flygares of the world who require all of us to band together with vigilance to protect our precious children,” DA Ligon said. “I’m particularly grateful to this alert and attentive mother who acted quickly and decisively, to the other Montgomery County citizens who acted to prevent Flygare’s escape, to Children’s Safe Harbor for the subsequent investigation, and to the judge and jury who ultimately held him accountable.”