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Man arrested for lewd conduct at library

He was allegedly masturbating and watching porn on a library computer Saturday afternoon.

November 30, 2011|By Joanna Clay

A 46-year-old man was put under citizen's arrest at the Laguna Beach Public Library on Saturday afternoon after police received a report that he was masturbating and watching pornography on a library computer.

Joseph Clarence Cormier II, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for lewd conduct and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, according to Lt. Jason Kravetz.

A man went to the police station to make a report and said he noticed Cormier touching himself and saw pornography on the screen.

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When officers arrived at the library, they located Cormier and he was identified by the reporting citizen.

Friends of the Library President Martha Lydick said she wants something to be done in regard to adult use of computers in an area that could be potentially near children.

"I will be sending a letter to county librarian Helen Fried recommending that no adults be allowed to use a computer in the children's area unless accompanied by a child," she told the Coastline Pilot.

Kravetz said the area Cormier was found in was separate from the children's area.

Jenny Gassett, branch manager of the library, said the library cannot monitor what information people access on its computers.

"It's a delicate issue because we do uphold people's right to free access to information," she said. "We try to balance it … while making it a place where everyone is comfortable."

Gassett said while they can't regulate what people view, they can respond to inappropriate behavior.

joanna.clay@latimes.com

Twitter: @joannaclay

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