The city of Santa Monica and its residents responded Monday with surprise and outrage to reports of a pornographic video recorded at a public library.
The video was shot at Ocean Park Library, reportedly during business hours, and uploaded to an adult film website. It’s unclear when the video was made.
"That is wrong, it is completely wrong," resident Felipe Herrador said. "It’s a public place, a library where there are children. How will the city or people allow that?"
In the more than 10-minute video, a young woman exposes herself in front of John Muir Elementary School. She then walks through city streets before finally entering the public library, undressing and performing sexual acts.
"I hope they catch them and that they go to jail," one resident said.
Another said the situation could have been avoided if whoever recorded it would have had "more dignity and gone to another place that isn’t public."
Attorney Luis Carrillo said that performing and recording lewd activities in any public place can have serious legal consequences.
"If a person is found to have committed that crime, the punishment may include, apart from jail, registering as a sex offender," Carrillo said.
He also notes that if the person in the video performing sexual acts is a minor, "then whoever uploaded this to social media can be charged in federal court for possession of child pornography.
In a statement, the city called the video “deeply disturbing.” City officials said obscene acts in the library are illegal and that Santa Monica police are investigating.
"This video is deeply disturbing," the statement said. "Lewd acts in the public library are a violation of library rules and against the law. Staff did not have knowledge of the incident when it took place."
The video has already been removed from the adult video website.
In 2017, the NBC4 I-Team exposed criminal behavior, including lewd acts and drug use, at and around public libraries in Los Angeles. That investigation led to increased police patrols around libraries throughout the city.