Charges dismissed against Charleston man accused of exposing himself at parking garage

Charges have been dismissed against a Charleston man accused of flashing a woman in a downtown parking garage earlier this year.

In late June, Charleston police arrested Renzo Zeno Zanipolo, 56, of Bogard Street on an indecent exposure charge. He was accused of approaching a woman at the parking garage at 90 Cumberland St., asking to borrow her phone and then masturbating when she looked his way, police said.

Zanipolo said prosecutors agreed to drop the charge at a July hearing because it was clear he was innocent and a victim of mistaken identity. Zanipolo said he had an alibi witness who could prove he was elsewhere.

"It was not me," he said. "I am not guilty."

At the time, city prosecutors said the charge against Zanipolo was deferred, meaning it would be dismissed if he stayed out of trouble. That wasn't done because of problems with the case or doubts about Zanipolo's arrest, they said. Rather, they took that step after officials from the Veterans Affairs hospital intervened and said Zanipolo would benefit more from counseling than jail, they said.

Attorney Jason T. Mikell, Zanipolo's public defender, did not dispute that synopsis of the disposition.

City court officials confirmed that prosecutors had officially dismissed the charge against Zanipolo this month because he had successfully completed the six-month period without a new arrest.

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