THE WOODLANDS, Texas – It’s a place where adults and children come to read and check out books.
“ I come to the library because its very relaxing and it’s quiet time,” says Ervin Blackburn, a library patron.
But today visitors at this Woodlands library where surprised to find out that at this quiet peaceful place, lurked a library employee, who police say, would force young children to send him nude photos of themselves.
“It’s really sad that something like that would occur, because coming to the library is supposed to be a place of solitude and you would expect something like that to occur at a library,” adds Blackburn.
“We began investigating about a month ago and determined in fact there was a crime being committed,” explains Warren Diepraam, assistant district attorney for Montgomery County.
Investigators say Timothy Jerome Alcala would threaten and use coercive techniques to intimidate children online, including threatening to kill them. Some of the pictures date back to 2010 and include children from all around the world. Christina King was in belief, but tells us she never lets her kids out of sight, not even at the library.
“Be careful who’s around them what they are doing , and where they are going, ” says Christina King, a concerned parent.
Information obtained from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office shows that Alcala was not in direct contact with children at the county libraries, rather he was a courier that delivered books from one building to another. Police discovered he had several Facebook accounts with different alias.
Diepraam explains, “When he started put he used his real Facebook account and since then switched to aliases on many of those with false pictures. Bottom line geography was irrelevant to him.”
“As a parent you need to be looking over your kids shoulder and ask what are you doing,” says one parent.
I asked a mother, “What about your kids? They are not going to make it to Facebook till they are 18 and it will be locked down and only grandparents will have access to it.”
Alcala faces 10 counts of promotion and possession of child pornography, which are 2nd degree felonies.