Ex-Librarian Charged With Child Pornography After Alleged Hate-Crime Vandalism, Targeting LGBT People As ‘Groomers’
A former Maryland school librarian, 31, has been charged with six child pornography possession counts following hate crime and vandalism charges for incidents where he allegedly spray-painted the word “groomer” on two public libraries, according to WTOP News.
Authorities arrested Charles Sutherland, then a librarian at Prince George’s County Public Schools’ (PGCPS) Northview Elementary, in June after he was allegedly captured on video committing the vandalism at the Prince George’s County’s New Carrollton and Greenbelt public libraries and admitting doing so, the outlet reported. Sutherland confessed to having child pornography on his computer when he was detained and gave permission for police to search his apartment, where they discovered diapers and a life-sized doll in his bed.
We arrested 30-year-old Charles Sutherland of Takoma Park for vandalizing two public libraries; suspect charged with hate crimes. Read more: https://t.co/tZnrPHFPzu pic.twitter.com/p328j4rwHj
— PGPDNEWS (@PGPDNews) June 16, 2022
The term “groomer” often refers to adults trying to prime children for sexual abuse through inappropriate friendships with them, and some commentators use it as a label for people exposing young children to sexual content in gender identity and sexuality lessons or drag shows. Prince George’s County State Attorney Aisha Braveboy said police accused Sutherland “of writing homophobic slurs on two libraries,” WUSA9 reported.
PGCPS told the DCNF Thursday that Sutherland has been on administrative leave since June. That month, Prince George’s County libraries spokesperson Nicholas Alexander Brown said in June that the library “vehemently condemns the defacement of its buildings” and would “not waiver in its commitment to maintaining welcoming spaces to LGBTQ+ customers and their allies,” WTOP reported.
Police arrested Sutherland again in early February after the computer’s forensic processing was finished, according to WTOP. He is set for Montgomery County trial on the child pornography charges beginning in April, and his Prince George’s County trial for the hate crime and vandalism charges is set to start in August.
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