Library patron accused of watching child porn

MONROE — For the second time in recent months, police have arrested a Sno-Isle Libraries patron for allegedly viewing child pornography on a library computer.

On Monday, police arrested a man, 61, at the Monroe Library.

In May, a man, 55, was arrested at the Snohomish Library.

Monroe police were called to the city library at 1070 Village Way after a woman reported seeing the man viewing child pornography on a public computer shortly after 5 p.m. Monday.

When an officer approached him, the man “began to rapidly click on the computer,” according to a police report. The screen essentially was blank when the officer reached him.

The officer found anime photo printouts next to the computer. The animated images were of young naked girls.

The witness told a Monroe detective that she twice saw the man looking at pornographic photos of teens and children as young as 3.

The suspect didn’t talk with officers, Monroe police spokeswoman Debbie Willis said.

Police found the man in possession of an electronic device with multiple media ports, specifically for TV viewing and video recording.

The detective got a search warrant to seize and search the library computer and the media device in the man’s possession.

In May, a Snohomish man was arrested for investigation of downloading child pornography from a city library computer onto a cellphone.

The suspect denied having pornography stored in his phone when he was confronted by police, according to court papers. However, he told police he was viewing pornography at the library and the images included pictures of naked children.

He told an officer that he was on a website he believed would have nude photographs that would be artistic in nature.

Snohomish police took his phone and a transfer cord as evidence.

A detective reportedly found on the phone more than 50 photographs depicting children as young as 2 being sexually exploited.

All computers in the Sno-Isle Libraries system have Internet filters. The Snohomish Public Library is part of the 21-branch system that serves more than 671,000 people and includes a collection of 1.4 million items.

Library users 17 and older can choose an option to have unfiltered Internet access. The exception is to computers that are in the children’s sections where all computers have filtered access.

Sno-Isle policy calls for library workers who see patrons engaging in illegal activity, including accessing child pornography, to call 911.

“There is no constitutional protection for illegal activities,” Sno-Isle spokesman Ken Harvey said. “This clearly fell in that area.”

Harvey said the witness did the right thing by reporting the man allegedly viewing child pornography. A staff member then investigated and called police.

“That ‘See something, say something’ motto really applied in this case,” Harvey said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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