Patrons on high alert following reported sexual assault at Decatur Library

- It’s a place people go to learn and read books but recently a sexual predator had something else in mind. The Decatur Police Department is looking for a young man after the sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman.

Stephanie Cox, a regular visitor to the Decatur Library, is looking over her shoulder more often after Decatur Police said this man exposed himself to a 19-year-old woman in a downstairs stairway two Fridays ago.

“We come here to learn and we come here to read and I think it’s really inappropriate for a guy to follow a woman, whether be a male or female, to follow someone and to really take that energy and use it for bad,” said Cox.

On social media, Decatur Police put out a notice to the public. It stated the victim told police the suspect approached her as she was about to enter the Library restroom on Friday, January 19.

Police said the man told the woman he knew her from elementary school and needed to talk to her.

Investigators said when he convinced her to follow him downstairs he exposed himself to her, grabbed her buttocks and kissed her on the cheek and mouth.

Library user Chara Lang said when a woman says no, it means no.

“Unless they say yes I’m allowing you to touch me then don’t touch them because that’s illegal,” said Lang.

The head pastor of the church next door, Decatur Presbyterian Church, is working with staff to help police find the suspect.

The suspect is described by police as a black man, about 20 years old, five feet five inches tall with close-cut black hair and a mustache.

“Our threshold director might know him. She might recognize him because she deals with folks all the time,” said Pastor Todd Speed.

Police said after the sexual battery took place at the library the victim left and later told her mother.

Investigators said police responded to take the victims report at the library several days after the incident.

“She may have been in shock. That’s not the kind of thing you expect to happen. I’m glad she let people know so that hopefully this doesn’t happen to somebody else,” said Pastor Speed.

The library is operated by DeKalb County. FOX 5 News reached out to a representative with the county to ask about security measures at the library but did not get a response as of Tuesday evening.

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