SANTA ANA (CBS) — Should public library patrons be subject to monitoring — or even censorship — of content deemed inappropriate by lawmakers?
KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports that’s the question facing officials in Laguna Beach Library after someone spotted a man allegedly watching porn and committing a lewd act while using public computer.
An eyewitness first alerted police on Saturday to what he had seen at the library’s computer lab, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
“When he looked over he saw a homeless man next to him masturbating while looking at pictures of naked women on the computer,” Lt. Jason Kravitz.
Officers may have found up to eight homeless men gathered around a public computer to view pornography, the Orange County Register reported.
Joseph Clairence Cormier II was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor lewd conduct and possession of marijuana.
The incident has triggered calls from local parents for officials to better monitor the content that patrons are viewing in public libraries.
“I think they should restrict what people listen [to] and watch on the computers here because there’s a lot of children inside there,” said parent and library patron Phil McManus. “That kind of scares you.”
But branch manager Jenny Gasset said the library cannot legally monitor whatever information people access on its computers.