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Convicted Sex Offender Accused of Fondling Child at Library

27-Jul-2015

Staff members at the Downtown Metro Library notified police after they say they saw a man fondling a child in the children's reading area of the library. The man, identified as Christopher George Carruthers, was arrested nearly a week after the incident at an Oklahoma City shelter.

In the alleged incident, library staff say they noticed a two men, including Carruthers, enter the library with a woman and her two children. A communications director from the Metropolitan Library System told reporters that one of the librarians "kind of noticed that something didn't seem right."

The librarian notified security about the man's suspicious behavior, and they began to track his movements through the library. He allegedly went to the children's reading area, pulled a little girl into his lap, and began stroking her buttocks as he read to her.

Security staff found out the suspect's name and notified Oklahoma City Police, who tracked down Carruthers at an Oklahoma City day shelter. He was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail on a complaint of lewd acts to a child under 16 and lewd or indecent proposals or acts to a child under 16. Jail records show he was also arrested in June on complaints of indecent or lewd acts to a child under 16 and first degree rape by instrumentation.

Carruthers, 26, is a transient with a prior conviction for lewd acts with a child under 16. He was convicted in 2007, when he was 19 years old. In that case, he was given a split sentence of 8 years in prison and 10 years suspended, with credit for time served. He was released from prison in October 2014.

As a convicted sex offender with a prior offense involving child molestation, Carruthers is prohibited from contact with children. Visiting a library with children would certainly be a violation of the terms of his parole and his sex offender registration requirements. 

Statistically speaking, the recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders is generally lower than that of people convicted for other crimes. However, there are cases of habitual offenders. If, in fact, the suspect is found guilty of committing repeated sex offenses, the resulting penalties will likely be severe. Lewd or indecent acts with a child under 16 is a felony that carries a penalty of 3 to 20 years in prison if the minor is aged 12 to 15. However, if the child is under the age of 12, the minimum penalty is 25 years in prison.



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