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Man Who Allegedly Masturbated in Library Apprehended

The registered sex offender returned to the library Monday night and was ID'd by a teen witness. After his arrest, he was hospitalized with claims of heart trouble.

A man who allegedly masturbated in the last week was arrested Monday night after returning to the scene, authorities said.

Robert Bruce Engel, a 67-year-old registered sex offender with previous indecent-exposure convictions, was detained by Orange County sheriff's deputies after being identified by a 15-year-old girl who said she witnessed him masturbating May 9.

The girl alleged that Engel had exposed himself to her about 6:30 that evening while she was at the library at 30902 La Promesa, according to Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.

"The suspect sat at an adjacent table and he put a newspaper on his lap and  appeared to be masturbating,'' Amormino said. "The girl has seen this guy several times before, and he always sits next to her and her friends.''

Police received a telephone call Monday at 8:12 p.m. that a person matching the description of the May 9 suspect was in the library. Deputies found him in the back of the library.

Before he could be taken to jail, though, Engel apparently "felt like he was having a cardiac issue," according to Lt. Mike Peters. He was taken to Mission Hospital by paramedics and followed by police.

Engel is being held in Central Jail on $50,000 bail. He has a scheduled court appearance Wednesday.

Engel pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent exposure in 1997 and in 2000 was convicted of indecent exposure.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Young MC May 18, 2011 at 02:26 PM
On a larger note, why do most places of employment, schools, and universities block pornographic websites but the OC public library does not? At the Foothill Ranch library, where I often take my children, the public computers are next to the check-out line. Several times, while waiting our turn, I have witnessed men perusing porn. Why on earth is this possible? I would LOVE if you would investigate this on Patch.com.
Michael May 18, 2011 at 06:25 PM
So crazy that these pervs get such light sentences when statistics show they are highly likely to reoffend. I'm reminded of the case of Mark Petrash, the middle school teacher who was convicted of indecent exposure at the doctors office while his 3 year old son was in the next room being examined. He only got 90 days.

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