Serial flasher Paul Goodrell — who is he, and why does he keep getting released?

Who is Paul Goodrell?

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Paul Goodrell, the serial flasher who has been exposing himself to children for decades, has been in court more than 20 times for public lewdness, according to prosecutors. Last week, just after a hearing on whether his parole should be revoked, he was charged again. This time, he’s being held without bail.

Who is Paul Goodrell — and why does he keep getting released?

Goodrell has been in the criminal justice system for 35 years. Records go back as far as 1989 for public lewdness in Rochester. He has flashed people in high school locker rooms, laundromats, and stores — and his victims have been as young as 7 years old.

Now 55 years old, he was arrested three times just last month.

Prosecutors say Goodrell is a three-time felon, with an arrest count in the double digits. He’s a Level 3 sex offender, which means New York State finds him “a threat to public safety.”

Even so, Goodrell has spent a lot of time out of prison.

“Certainly now with the series of events that happened in early December, not only are we paying attention — I mean he’s incarcerated now — but taking a good hard look at what the charges are and what we need to do,” Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts said.

Ritts is prosecuting Goodrell’s most recent arrest — burglary as a sexually motivated felony. Sheriff’s deputies say Goodrell followed a family into the Victor Walmart in December. While he didn’t flash anyone, he has been banned from all Walmarts since 2021 after he exposed himself to a child.\

“If you’re banned from going into those establishments, you’re trespassing. Any time you trespass with the intent to commit a crime, it doesn’t matter if you ultimately commit the crime, it’s trespassing with that intent when you enter and so he’s charged with that,” Ritts said.

Since 1989, Goodrell has exposed himself to children in places like Auburn, Newark, Canandaigua, Rochester, Farmington, and most recently — but not for the first time — Victor.

Goodrell had a Jan. 5 hearing to revoke his parole, but it was postponed. He is facing more charges after Ontario County deputies say he went into the Victor Walmart in December.

News10NBC reached out to state parole representatives and asked how and why Goodrell is still eligible for parole. A spokesperson says Goodrell has had “several assessments” since he got out of prison in 2016. The next step is a court appearance on whether to revoke his parole and send him to prison.

We know about dozens of Goodrell’s victims, but Ritts says there could be more.

“It takes a community to make sure we’re taking care of our children. So beware and be vigilant and don’t hesitate to report,” Ritts said. “And trust your kids. If they’re telling you something happened, something happened. Trust your children.”

Goodrell’s lawyer, an Ontario County public defender, respectfully declined to comment.

Given that parole and prosecutors are both putting Goodrell under scrutiny, Ritts said he could be facing quite a lot of prison time as the latest case moves forward.

As to whether he will continue to be eligible for release, that will be determined at his next parole hearing on Feb. 9.

For the time being, he is behind bars.