Magazine article American Libraries

Security Revisited after Child Is Assaulted

Magazine article American Libraries

Security Revisited after Child Is Assaulted

Article excerpt

A convicted sex offender pleaded not guilty March 4 to the rape of a 6-year-old boy January 31 in a reference-room magazine aisle at New Bedford (Mass.) Public Library's Main Library. During the assault, the child's mother was working at a computer some 10 feet away in an adjacent hallway, NBPL Director Stephen Fulchino told American Libraries, and had given the child crayons and paper to keep him occupied.

The assault prompted New Bedford Mayor Scott W. Lang to introduce legislation restricting Level 2 or 3 sex offenders (considered the most prone to recidivism) from visiting libraries, schools, playgrounds, and other public places where children congregate. The bill is expected to pass, according to a February 28 report in the Boston University publication the Daily Free Press.

"I can't say enough about the reference staff and how they reacted," Fulchino asserted regarding the January 31 attack, explaining that a reference librarian found a photo of Corey Deen Saunders, 26, in a registered offender database after seeing the suspect emerging from the aisle several times with the boy and speaking with him. …

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