After a man sexually abused two children at the 41-17 Main Street branch of the Queens Public Library last month, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Councilmember Peter Vallone want to ban convicted sex offenders from entering children’s reading rooms.
Joel Grubert, who on July 7 was arrested for sexually abusing a 6- and 9-year-old at the library, is a registered sex offender. In 2004, he was convicted for possession of child pornography, and served time for kidnapping, reported the NY Post. Last year, a similar incident happened at another Queens Public Library branch in Astoria.
Currently sex offenders are not legally allowed to enter a playground, but the courts have ruled that a policy of banning sex offenders from libraries altogether is unconstitutional.
De Blasio and Vallone have written a letter to New York State Legislative leaders asking them to pass legislation that would make entering a designated children’s room at a public library a criminal offense for a sex offender.
“It is common sense that we keep sexual predators away from areas where young kids congregate,” said Vallone. “Children’s rooms in libraries are really indoor playgrounds for growing minds, and our kids need every protection we can give them.”