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updated: 9/20/2013 5:30 AM

Cops: Westmont man charged after viewing porn at library

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  • Steven Beckow

      Steven Beckow

 

A Westmont man was charged with obscenity and disorderly conduct after he viewed online pornography in the youth services area of his local library, authorities said Thursday.

Steven Beckow, 42, is accused of browsing the websites on Sept. 4 and 8 while using public computers in plain view at the Westmont Public Library, 428 N. Cass Ave.

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Police Sgt. Steve Thompson said the library terminated Beckow's Internet privileges after the first incident. Four days later, he said, Beckow returned and was again seen viewing pornography online.

On Wednesday, police obtained a warrant and arrested Beckow at his home on the 200 block of West Burlington Avenue. Court filings allege three adults witnessed the activity and were "alarmed and disturbed."

In a police interview, Beckow admitted using library computers to look at pornography, Thompson said.

Library officials said they have a written policy against viewing such materials because children may be present.

"We try to create a safe space for children, and obviously we're going to pay attention," library Director Christine Kuhn said.

Thompson said police previously arrested a man for viewing child pornography at the library, but it was several years ago. In an unrelated case, a 58-year-old sex offender was charged with looking at child pornography in July at the Bloomingdale Public Library.

Beckow, who returns to court Oct. 28, remained in custody Thursday after DuPage County Judge Elizabeth Sexton set bail at $15,000. The most serious charge against him is a Class A misdemeanor.

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