LANCASTER, Pa. — A Lancaster County woman convicted of exposing herself outside Lancaster County Prison last year will serve up to a year in prison after a sentencing hearing earlier this month, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Elisabell Berrios, 36, of Elizabethtown, was convicted of a misdemeanor count of open lewdness after a trial on June 17, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office. The jury deliberated for eight minutes before rendering its verdict.
Lancaster County Judge Thomas Sponaugle sentenced her to a prison term of two months to a year at a recent hearing, prosecutors said.
According to evidence presented at trial, officers responding to a call at the intersection of North Franklin and East Orange streets at 10:19 p.m. on Sept. 16, 2021 found Berrios lying on the hood of a silver Volkswagen sedan, with two young children in the back seat.
The car was parked in view of the backside of the prison, and inmates could be heard yelling from inside the building, according to police.
A K9 officer who witnessed the incident told responding officers that Berrios had climbed on top of the vehicle and exposed her breasts, resulting in increased yelling from inmates inside the prison.
An investigation determined Berrios was at the prison to see a specific inmate who was in jail for a separate case involving her.
During the time where she was exposing herself, the children with Berrios were running around the car and swinging from nearby road signs, according to the officer who witnessed the incident.
Assistant District Attorney Fritz Haverstick, who prosecuted the case, argued that Berrios showed no remorse, was belligerent toward the responding officers, and bragged about her behavior afterward.
Haverstick then stated jail time was warranted, to which Judge Sponaugle agreed, according to the DA's Office.
Defense argued that jail time was not warranted as Berrios needed to care for her children, but Sponaugle disagreed.
“I don’t think people are able to use their children as shields from going to jail,” Sponaugle said.
Sponaugle also mentioned the fact it was around 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday, which was a school night, and the defendant drove all the way from Elizabethtown to expose herself at the prison with her children in the car.
Lancaster City Bureau of Police Officer Charley Darkes-Burkey filed charges.