A couple had sex on a 150-foot Ferris wheel in downtown Cincinnati in full view of people, including children, police say.
The pair — 30-year-old Michael Mathisen and 31-year-old Lauren Wilder — were arrested this week after some of the witnesses told police about their high-altitude tryst. As WKYT reported, the criminal report noted that several people saw them allegedly committing the act.
The strange circumstances of the story helped it gain national attention, with many sharing the story on social media and commenting on the apparently brazen nature of the couple. Their mugshots earned some viral attention as well.
This is not the first story about allegations of public sex to gain some viral interest. Last year, police in Miami Beach arrested a pair of Catholic priests on charges that they had sex in a parked car in full view of a children’s playground. Police said that 39-year-old Diego Berrio and 30-year-old Edwin Giraldo Cortez were visiting the area from near Illinois when they were caught in a very public moment of intimacy.
The New York Post reported that the Archdiocese of Chicago, where both were stationed, announced that both men would not be allowed to serve in the area.
Police said bystanders reported seeing the two priests inside a rented Volkswagen Beetle, and the two were still engaged in a sex act by the time officers arrived to respond to the reports, the story claimed.
“To get their attention, [the officer] had to knock on their window,” Miami Beach police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez said.
Police say they arrested the Kentucky man and his partner shortly after their R-rated ride on the Ferris wheel. https://t.co/FgCm9drbWZ— WKYT (@WKYT) March 29, 2019
Both of the priests were arrested and slapped with charges of lewd and lascivious behavior. Cortez was given an extra charge for indecent exposure because his pants were allegedly unzipped when police arrived.
The incident led to some condemnation from a judge overseeing the case, who noted that children on the playground would have been able to see right into the car. He noted that the men didn’t seem to pay any mind to the fact that their act was so public.
“The major concern that I had was the fact that it was in public,” said Jeffrey Rosinek, the judge who preceded over the bond hearing of the two priests, per Local 10 News. “When a police officer can come and just watch, that’s a problem.”
In Cincinnati, Michael Mathisen faces a charge of disorderly conduct while intoxicated while Lauren Wilder was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly having sex on the Ferris wheel. Both were expected in court on Friday to answer to the charges.