BOZEMAN – A man who reportedly exposed himself to children in the Bozeman Public Library appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Monday.
Samuel Rodriguez, 43, a transient, was arrested on Saturday afternoon after a patron 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 witnessed Rodriguez masturbating while he looked at children in the Children’s Area of the library.
The witness told 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 Rodriguez from the building and police stopped and arrested him. During 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.
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.
Rodriguez 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.
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.
Law enforcement also found marijuana in Rodriguez’ belongings.