Archive for Thursday, April 14, 2005

Man, 41, charged in incident at library

April 14, 2005

A 41-year-old Basehor man was arrested Tuesday after a witness told police she saw him fondling himself at the Basehor Community Library.

The man is charged in Basehor Municipal Court with a sole count of lewd and lascivious act. Police said the charge is a misdemeanor and punishable by either fine or six months in jail. The man is scheduled to appear in court May 10.

Basehor Police Department chief Terry Horner said a woman told police Monday that she witnessed the man fondling himself while at a computer inside the library. After conducting an investigation, a warrant was issued for the man's arrest and he was picked up after leaving his house at approximately 4 p.m.

He was transported to the Leavenworth County Jail. He was released after posting a $1,500 bond.

The man's name is being withheld because of a policy of this newspaper not to name persons accused of sex crimes until they plead guilty or are convicted.

Horner said the police department is continuing to investigate. There is at least one more complaint against the man that police are looking into, the police chief said.

"This investigation hasn't been closed yet," Horner said. "We have other information we're following up on."

Basehor Community Library officials released a statement Wednesday concerning the alleged incident and case.

"The library has received a complaint from a patron regarding an individual who may have been involved in inappropriate behavior," the statement reads. "The library has taken steps to maintain a safe and appropriate environment for our patrons and to ensure that no future incidents occur."

Janice Garcia, chairman of the Basehor Community Library Board of Directors, said the library board was scheduled to meet Wednesday night to discuss banning the man in question from the library.

"Our director has made the decision to ban this individual from the library until the board makes a final determination," Garcia said. "As board chairman, I support this decision."

Horner said officers will increase their protection of the library to ensure employees and patrons are not victimized further by such acts.

"I'm going to direct my officers to make random checks at the Basehor library," Horner said. "I want the citizens to feel safe. They should know our officers did their jobs. We immediately acted upon this complaint.

"If there is anyone else out there with information they feel is important, please contact the Basehor Police Department," Horner added.

The police department can be reached at (913) 724-1370.

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