Man arrested after exposing himself to children at Bozeman library

Posted at 8:09 AM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 10:09:16-04

(BOZEMAN) Samuel Rodriguez, 43 years old, was arrested on Saturday afternoon after a person at the public library reported seeing him expose himself in a room full of children.

Rodriguez was charged with indecent exposure to a minor and his bail was set at $500,000. He is to have no contact with children under 18 or be within 500 feet of the library. 

According to charging documents, a woman reportedly saw Rodriguez masturbating while he looked at children in the Children’s Area of the library. The witness told Bozeman Police officers that she had two children, ages 2 and 5 with her and the children’s area of the library was full of children at the time of the incident.

Library employees followed him from the building and Bozeman police stopped and arrested Rodriguez on Mendenhall.

"The employees contacted 911, gave a description of a male who had entered the children’s section of the library and exposed himself in a manner that was offensive, and was leaving the library and that someone from the library had followed him and was giving the information to dispatch as officers were on their way,” said Bozeman Police Detective Sgt. Joe Swanson.

uring a search of Rodriguez, officers noticed that Rodriguez’ belt buckle was undone, his pants’ zipper was halfway unzipped and his pants’ button was undone.

When questioned, Rodriguez told officers that he was at the library looking for children’s books for his children when his rash, located between his stomach and genitals, began to itch.

However, during questioning, Rodriguez was unable to remember the last time he saw his children and did not know where they were. He reportedly did admit to scratching his genitals after unbuckling his belt buckle and undoing his zipper.

odriguez allegedly lied to officers about his name and birthdate, but after being informed he could face additional charges for not identifying himself, Rodriguez told officers his real name and birthdate. He also told officers that he was from New York and had hitchhiked from Billings to Bozeman, arriving in Bozeman the night of May 25, 2018.

A search of Rodriguez’ criminal history revealed that Rodriguez had a warrant out for his arrest through the US Marshal’s Service for indecent exposure to a child and he failed to register as a sex offender. His criminal history also showed he had been convicted of indecent exposure to a child once before.

Library Director Susan Gregory says with the high volume of traffic at the Library, nothing should come as a surprise. “But at the same time, everything is surprising," she said.

Gregory continued, "We have, I think, 16 to 18 specific behaviors that are listed, and those include things like no drinking alcohol in the library, no bringing alcohol into the library, no harassing or stalking or bothering other customers,” Gregory said. “It’s a pretty specific policy. It covers almost any kind of behavior you can think of, and the reason being is we want to help people understand that they’re welcome here if they behave appropriately, and if they don’t there are consequences.”

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