Denver Central Library masturbation, child-porn incidents not reported to police

Categories: News

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Photos, video below.
The central branch of the Denver Public Library system boasts one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. But it continues to fight a reputation for attracting some skeezy patrons -- and that battle won't be made any easier by a new revelation.

Turns out that the library's security personnel haven't always reported to police about sexually suspect acts that take place on the premises. And while some of these incidents don't qualify as actual crimes, quite a few others certainly do.

The info comes to us courtesy of 9News, which received a tip from a woman who was at the library when she noticed a man looking at her and busily masturbating.

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Inside the library.
At that point, she picked up a courtesy phone and informed security what was going on, and officers responded -- although the man was able to skip out before he could be grabbed.

Problem is, she subsequently discovered that security didn't call the cops -- an oversight she considers "reprehensible." (An investigation is now underway, and surveillance footage may give detectives a look at the man doing...well, you know.)

This wasn't the only slip-up of its kind. The station discovered via an open records request that there have been sixty -- count 'em, sixty -- incidents of a sexual nature internally recorded at the library thus far in 2013. The majority of those involved people looking at porn on facility computers, which isn't illegal but is against the rules for obvious reasons: Who wants to catch a glimpse of goggle-eyed dudes watching the horizontal mambo on the way to check out a reference book? The computers are set up to prevent porn access, but apparently some folks are pretty good at getting around the blockade.

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Bob Knowles.
Other matters are more serious, though, including indecent exposure, sex in the bathrooms and even pissing on books -- and central branch security manager Bob Knowles admitted to the station that not every one of these offenses has triggered a call to the cops.

One such oversight: A guy was caught peeping child porn on a computer, but a security guard allowed him to leave.

That guard has since been informed of proper policy, and Knowles emphasizes that others on the staff have received a similar message. Good thing, too -- if the library wants to eliminate any hint of skeeziness.

Here's the 9News report:

More from our Follow That Story archive circa 2009: "The Denver Public Library is not the Wild West, despite what the New York Times says."

Location Info

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Denver Central Library

10 W. 14th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: General

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41 comments
mnetters
mnetters

If the Library lets this continue no one will check out the 50 shades of Gray books anymore and they'll end up shutting their doors!

safelibraries
safelibraries

"Problem is, she subsequently discovered that security didn't call the cops -- an oversight she considers 'reprehensible.'"

That's no oversight.  That's intentional.  That comes from the attitude that anything goes and librarians are not a component of the police force and are in no position to judge what is or is not a crime, not even child pornography.  And that comes straight from the American Library Association.  So the library is intentionally leaving itself AND DENVER exposed to liability for the harm that continues to happen as a result of the library's adherence to ALA policy instead of local law, community standards, and common sense.  

How many more people are going to be harmed before someone finally sues, wins big, then the library jettisons the ALA policy?  Why not wake up and do that now?  If the library won't, Denver can force it to do that because where a library acts outside the law, the city has the right and duty to require it to follow the law, and there will be no need to pierce the library's veil of autonomy that only protects it while it acts within the law. 

Contact me if anyone would like help with anything.

martin48484
martin48484

I wonder how other major cities' main libraries compare to ours.  Do they have the same problem. 

Pamela Zubal
Pamela Zubal

One Saturday afternoon a few years ago, I went to the library and waited to use a computer. As I waited, I slowly noticed that not one, not two, but every man in the room was looking at porn. When it was finally my turn to use the computer, I ended up at a station caddy-corner to a homeless man in sweatpants, masturbating through said pants. It was disgusting and he wasn't even quick about it. I didn't know what I should do about it, so I just dealt with it. Now, I don't like going in to that library, so I just put all of my books on hold so I can walk in and walk out in less than 2 minutes. It's a shame how nasty it is.

Schittphaiç Magü
Schittphaiç Magü

Yes....and from the blatant stupidity of the majority of your posts, it's clear you've never stepped foot in one your entire life.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

My friends w/ kids NEVER allow them to go w/o a known adult present . I hear it's a perv's 'amusement park' . I have observed many homeless but they weren't bothering anyone . 

Be patient people . Denver is doing everything in it's power to make 'Homelessness' illegal and soon the libraries can begin demanding proof of A residence to utilize it's facilities .

Fuck the Homeless !!!

Chelly Serna
Chelly Serna

They have an area for children that in the history of the three years I've been taking the kids I nanny for to I have NEVER seen a homeless person in there. Grab a book for yourself and take the kids there. This is no reason to stop bringing children to the library. The children's section is HUGE.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

            When Sex is Criminalized, only Criminals will have Sex.

martin48484
martin48484

The idiot security officer who never contacted police should be fired as well.  Perverts contaminate everything.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

U$A = a nation of parochial prudes


Nick McCollum
Nick McCollum

Denver libraries are warming huts for bums so walking through the front door in mid-winter is always a real fuckin treat

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

The library is the closest place where most of the homeless and drug addicted that live in Civic Center Park can goto the bathroom or take a 'bird bath' in the sink....I would say 90% of these people are mentally ill in some form or another.....These incidents are not being reported because they are daily occurrences and the staff at the library have gotten used to the asylum next door in the park....

Leah Arthur
Leah Arthur

I've definitely seen homeless men looking at porn on the computers, in full view of everyone. And the bathrooms (womens) are just scary; I can't imagine what the mens restroom is like...

Marty DeNicolo
Marty DeNicolo

I was studying there once and two guys were yelling at each other about who could take a bigger dick. Obviously not as bad as child porn, but not exactly the kind of conversation you expect in a library. I haven't gone back. I don't know to whom big city libraries typically cater (Denver is the only big city I've ever lived in), but I spent a lot of time in my hometown's library as a kid. Definitely wouldn't want to be a kid, or allow my kid, in the Central Library for any extended period of time.

Deborah Watts
Deborah Watts

Oh I did not know it required a yes or KNOW! SMART ASS!

Naomi Wolinsky
Naomi Wolinsky

Just journalist from Westword, looking for something earth shattering to write

Justin Jones
Justin Jones

The library is right next to the jail and the main park for the homeless. Any questions?

Deborah Watts
Deborah Watts

OH..get me started! I call the NEGLIGENT cops about MANY crimes just out side my windows! INCLUDING NUMEROUS PISSERS! One across the street and in full view of the Westside Christian School! Many times I have had to argue to even get a NEGLIGENT and or PREJUDICE police response! AGAIN..I REFUSE to call the cops any more, to be treated like CRAP and a second class citizen to even CRIMIGRANTS aka ILLEGAL immigrants! Hope it is not YOUR kid being beat on or pulled off his bike in to a car, that I see RIGHT outside my windows. And on the day of Sandy Hook MASS MURDERS, the fighting woman that pulled her kid out of the back of a car. THEN HID on my property! GO HID SOME WHERE ELSE! Then after I called 911, SGT.WEIMER calls my abusive husbands DIFFERENT phone. Asked if I was OK cus I called about D.V.! Said she did not have MY number that I GAVE 911, and questioned why they did not have it automatically! I was an award winning Phoenix Realtor, NOT a flake! I do NOT deserve the prejudice, negligent and ABUSIVE treatment from NUMEROUS City of Denver EMPLOYEES! If this CRAP is happening to me, BE REASSURED there are many others to busy to complain or here ILLEGALLY and do not care about Government CORRUPTION!

Adam Aedro Drotar
Adam Aedro Drotar

Would you rather have homeless people masturbating in the middle of civic park, instead? Let them have the library. I had already assumed that it was full of bums jacking off

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@martin48484 ... of course not, Denver is a unique representation of societal ills found nowhere else in the nation.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Pamela Zubal " ... and he wasn't even quick about it."

Normally women don't complain about that ... there's just no pleasing some of you.


Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Manny LaRue  I needed a little laugh . Thank you . Might I suggest NOT joining the 'thousands' who argue w/ Hotay ?  (This following WW making him a local celeb .) He has posted many sites I wonder if people take the chance to view before making argument . Remove the arrogance & arguing, and you are left w/ a genius . Why he chooses this is his business I have learned . I follow and scroll down his entries and I keep exchanges to a limit .

In other words, don't take it so personal . He dislikes and insults most .....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Manny LaRue ... are you any relation to Lash?

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Chelly Serna Good point, Chelly. We're going to highlight it in an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Nick McCollum ... so take the back-door 

... like your girlfriend.

Bam!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Marty DeNicolo "I was studying there once and two guys were yelling at each other about who could take a bigger dick"

Stuka and Kevin Hunt ...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Naomi Wolinsky  ... Westurbation!

sssids
sssids

@Deborah Watts Wow, Deborah.   You are one seriously angry, ready-for-the-loonie-bin person.   Please, get some help.   And, step away from the computer.   Far away.   Perhaps, a tour of the library stacks might yield a self-help book?

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@Deborah Watts Yes, you said the same crap on another story a day or two ago.  Get help.  Who let you on the computer, anyways?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Juan_Leg ... in your case ... a petty offense.

Booooo yaaaaaaa!


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