York County man, a Holocaust denier, guilty of exercising naked in park
A Red Lion resident and internationally known Holocaust denier has avoided prison for exposing his genitals in public while exercising in Lower Windsor Township.
Germar Rudolf, 55, of the 100 block of North Charles Street in Red Lion, was found guilty Tuesday of the misdemeanors of open lewdness and indecent exposure after a two-day trial in York County Court, according to court records.
Presiding Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook sentenced Rudolf to a total of two years' probation but ordered that his probation can be closed after a year if he has paid court costs in full and doesn't violate his probation conditions, records state.
Jurors were not told about Rudolf's background as a Holocaust denier, defense attorney Rick Robinson said, as it had nothing to do with his case. He otherwise has no criminal history, according to the defense attorney.
Rudolf is not considered a sexual offender under Megan's Law because it wasn't alleged he tried to expose himself to anyone for the purpose of sexual gratification, Robinson said.
Lower Windsor Township Police filed charges after an officer spotted Rudolf, naked from the waist down, exercising near the area of the Lock 2 Recreation Area not far from the corner of Long Level and Fishing Creek Road about 4 a.m. July 2, 2019, according to court documents.
"His position at the time was that it's OK to exercise naked in public in Germany," Lower Windsor Township Police Chief David Arnold said.
It wasn't the first time Rudolf reportedly exposed himself while exercising along the Susquehanna River, police said.
There was a previous incident in which a woman called to complain about the same behavior, and township officers at that time told Rudolf it's not OK to exercise naked in public in the United States, Arnold confirmed.
Officers filed charges for the July 2, 2019, incident because Rudolf had previously been warned to stop, police said.
At trial this week, Rudolf took the stand in his own defense and told jurors that he actually was wearing very short running shorts and that the officer was mistaken about him being naked from the waist down, according to Robinson.
Jurors deliberated less than 90 minutes before reaching their verdict, the attorney said.
About Rudolf: Born in Germany, Rudolf is a certified chemist who holds a doctorate from the Max Planck Institute, according to his website.
The Max Planck Institute has disavowed Rudolf's field work, according to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum.
That's because Rudolf prepared a report concluding that the gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenau weren't "suited" to carry out mass murders, according to his website.
After spending 14 months in a German prison for being a Holocaust denier, Rudolf fled first to England, then to the United States, which deported him back to Germany in 2005, according to the museum's website.
He was convicted again in Germany of denying the existence of gas chambers and was given more prison time, the museum's website states.
Rudolf's website notes he spent a total of 44 months in prison.
He wrote and published a book titled "Hunting Germar Rudolf: Essays on a Modern Witch-Hunt."
Rudolf was allowed to return to the U.S. permanently in 2011 and lives with his U.S.-born wife and three children, according to his website.
"Because Holocaust denial is punishable by law in Germany and other European countries, the largest centers of neo-Nazi propaganda shifted to the United States and Canada," the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum's website states.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.