By Lisa Redmond
AYER -- A 54-year-old Shirley man who prosecutors say has a 25-year history of lewd behavior was released without bail after prosecutors say he was doing more than just watching his female neighbor tend to her tomato plants.
In Ayer District Court Monday, Ronald Cohen, of 83 Clark Road, Shirley, was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty to open and gross lewd and lascivious behavior and indecent exposure.
Prosecutor Laura Miller sought $1,000 bail, noting Cohen's record includes multiple convictions between 1987 and 2003 for lewd behavior.
Miller alleges that police responded Sunday to a Clark Road home to speak to the victim, who said she was outside checking on her plants when she saw Cohen standing naked in his window pleasuring himself.
The day before, the victim said Cohen had come up behind her in the grocery store and they had a conversation that made the woman "uncomfortable,'' Miller said.
But defense attorney Larry Colby said Cohen and his client are neighbors in the Shirley trailer park.
In past cases, Colby said Cohen has successfully completed probation.
Judge Peter Kilmartin released Cohen without bail warning him to stay away from the victim.
Cohen has a pretrial conference scheduled for Dec. 5.