UK: Person Who “Identifies As A Woman” Arrested On Charges Of Indecent Exposure, Possessing Child Sexual Abuse Imagery

News out of the small community of Ringwood is prompting confusion on social media after an individual was arrested for multiple charges involving child sex offenses.

On August 11, Samantha Norris, 55, was charged with numerous offenses in connection to an indecent exposure incident in Euston Grove in which two young girls had reported being targeted.

While details on the case are limited, Norris was ultimately charged with two counts of exposure but also faces a host of other disturbing charges including three counts of making indecent photographs/pseudo-photographs of a child, possession of a prohibited image of a child, and possession of extreme pornographic image.

Norris appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court yesterday for a hearing, and was later remanded into custody until a second court appearance on January 9.

But the details of the disturbing story quickly raised eyebrows amongst users on X (formerly Twitter) after some noticed inconsistencies in the subsequent media coverage.

Many pointed out that the crimes Norris has been accused of are typically committed by males, and that it is very rare for a suspect accused of sexual crimes against children, especially those involving hoarding child sexual abuse materials, to be female.

The Standing For Women chapter in Hampshire pleaded with a local journalist to offer clarity on Norris’ biological sex, as the Daily Echo writeup on the case failed to include any pronouns whatsoever.

But the Daily Echo was not the only outlet which prompted confusion and concern. Other news stations covering the case, such as The News, referred to Norris as a “female” who “allegedly exposed herself” to children.

The New Milton Advertiser referred to Norris simply as “a person” and a “Ringwood resident.” Meanwhile, the official press release from the Ringwood Police used gender neutral “they/them” pronouns for Norris, something that was found to be uncharacteristic when compared to similar releases from the Constabulary which clearly detailed whether a suspect was male or female.

“If young girls are to be safe in the area, are they to avoid men or women? Surely the sex of the perpetrator is key information from a public safety point of view,” one user on X said.

“News reporters need to get their act together and start reporting the truth,” another replied.

Reduxx reached out to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, and the External Engagement Manager stated that Norris “identifies as a woman.”

“The information that I have is that the suspect identifies as a woman,” Manager Wes Hutchins stated. “But this is why we have referenced them in a gender-neutral way in our reporting.”

A Corporate Communications Officer at the Constabulary later refused to confirm whether a penis was involved in the indecent exposure component of the incident.

While immediate confirmation of Norris’ biological sex may have to wait until the hearing in January, the incident in Ringwood underscores an ongoing issue in the United Kingdom in which both police and media fail to gather or release accurate information about the sex of criminals. The lack of clarity has lead to ample confusion and the false attribution of male crimes to females.

In 2021, the story of Chloe Thompson went internationally viral after some UK-based outlets reported that Thompson, who is a male who identifies as transgender, had been a woman who “exposed her penis and masturbated in public.”

Earlier this year, West Yorkshire Police came under fire after describing a known rapist convicted of domestic assault as a “woman.” The wording of the release was repeated by news outlets, such as Yorkshire Live and the BBC, who reinforced the violent criminal’s identity.

Speaking to Reduxx, a Standing For Women Hampshire spokeswoman said she was immediately suspicious of the Daily Echo report after X followers began sounding the alarm on Tuesday.

“I had actually spotted it the night before and already resolved to question it as these are very unusual crimes for a woman,” she said. “We’ve seen numerous examples where the balance of probability tells us the offender was likely a man but we are told by the press, with no further explanation, that it was a woman.”

Reduxx shared the Constabulary’s statement with Standing For Women Hampshire, and the spokeswoman suggested that she took it as a vindication of what she already believed to be true.

“That the police in this instance are so reluctant to refer to the sex of the offender, whist carefully using terms like ‘identifies as a woman’ and ‘they’ pronouns tells us clearly what we already knew – the offender is male,” she asserted. “It also indicates a serious problem with police deference to a religious/political ideology where the beliefs of the criminal are held in higher regard than material reality, the public good and the needs and dignity of the victims.”

She also pointed out that conflating biological sex and gender identity in reporting “misleads the public, tarnishes women’s good name, and distorts crime statistics making it harder for the public to know who to trust.”

The spokeswoman concludes that she feels it is time for the government to step in and force police to provide accurate information on the sex of offenders, but also notes the media has a role to play.

“The press must step up and be prepared to question the narrative presented by the authorities,” she said. “The Independent Press Standards Organization draft guidelines allow them to do so, but must go further to encourage and protect the journalists who do.”

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Anna Slatz

Anna is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Reduxx, with a journalistic focus on covering crime, child predators, and women's rights. She lives in Canada, enjoys Opera, and kvetches in her spare time.

Anna Slatz
Anna Slatz
Anna is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Reduxx, with a journalistic focus on covering crime, child predators, and women's rights. She lives in Canada, enjoys Opera, and kvetches in her spare time.