Crime in the Library's latest blog entry is about a man who pleaded guilty last week to public indecency in a library in DuPage County, IL. According to a news report (below), he must perform 50 hours of public service and is banned from library computer use and from children's sections at the library for a two year period.
Anbolyn has been blogging Crime in the Library since September, but I just found it. The blog is filled with similar cases, plus theft, fights, employee embezzlement, vandalism etc. It's rather depressing to read through the blog, but I'm glad Anbolyn (profile says: librarian in Arizona) is tracking this. Knowledge is power, and the more we know about what's going on, the better we can work to prevent it.
For more on the DuPage library incident...
Man admits to public indecency at library
A judge banned a man from using computers inside DuPage County libraries after he pleaded guilty Thursday to public indecency for an incident at Nichols Library in Naperville.
Richard J. Blaszak admitted fondling himself May 18 while he perused porn on a library computer. His arrest sparked a battle regarding privacy issues between local police and library officials.
The 35-year-old Naperville man must perform 50 hours of public service and serve a two-year period of probation during which he is banned from library computer use. He also must steer clear of the children's sections.
Prosecutors had sought a 180-day jail sentence, but the defense successfully argued Blaszak had been punished enough. He lost his job at a Naperville Walgreens after the arrest.
Blaszak also is seeking voluntary therapy to treat his obsessive compulsive disorder, said Jackie Lacy, a senior assistant public defender. He did not have any prior criminal history.
"The embarrassment and level of shame he has is extraordinary," Lacy said. "He's addressing his issues and has done so on his own. He realizes he has a problem and needs help."
Three male teens reported to a library supervisor that another patron in the computer lab was touching himself while looking at pornography. Blaszak never exposed himself.
After being confronted, Blaszak told the supervisor he was leaving. The supervisor later reported the allegations to police at the teens' urging.
Police asked library officials if they could review their records to identify the man, who had left the building. Initially, library officials refused, citing state privacy laws prohibiting the release of such information without a court order.
Police obtained the subpoena and identified Blaszak the next day after reviewing the library's records. Although young children did not witness the crime, prosecutors said several between the ages of 9 to 14 were nearby.
"He admitted he was watching pornography and that he knew kids were around him," prosecutor David Rafferty said. "He admitted doing it on two prior occasions."
As part of the sentence, DuPage Associate Judge Brian McKillip ordered that Blaszak be placed on a special kind of strict probation for people convicted of sexual offenses. For example, the defendant's proximity to parks, schools and other places where children are present will be restricted.