Man Arrested in Minneapolis Library Child-Porn Case

David Chanen [writes...]

\"A 40-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of viewing child pornography on a computer at the Northeast public library in Minneapolis.

It was the first time anybody had been arrested at a Minneapolis public library for looking at such images, said Mary Lawson, library system director. A security guard called police after he saw the man viewing Web site pictures of naked and clothed children between the ages of 4 and 12.\"
[more...] from the Star-Tribune.
Officers arrested the man at the computer about 2:30 p.m. He later was released. Investigators will search the computer for pictures. The Hennepin County attorney\'s office is reviewing the case.

To discourage patrons from surfing the Web for porn, the city Library Board in May began requiring computer users to sign in and show identification. The board limited computer use to a half-hour. Signs also were posted warning against sending, receiving, printing or displaying text or graphics that violate state laws concerning obscene material. Possessing child pornography is a felony.

Lawson said the policies have improved conditions at the libraries, especially the Central Library. Downtown librarians had complained of being harassed and intimidated by working in an environment where they might be exposed to porn.

\"Things have been going very well at the libraries,\" Lawson said. \"There have been some incidents involving people viewing pornography, but staff handled them appropriately.

In those instances, police weren\'t called because the porn didn\'t involve children, she said.

Story by David Chanen
The Star Tribune
March 10, 2001

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