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Registered sex offender charged with indecent exposure at library

Engel Orange County prosecutors have charged a registered sex offender with indecent exposure in front of three teenage girls at the Rancho Santa Margarita Library.

Robert Bruce Engel, 67, of Mission Viejo, is charged with one felony count of indecent exposure, prosecutors say. He has prior convictions for indecent exposure in 1999 and 2002.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

Engel was arraigned and held in lieu of $20,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court again Thursday in Newport Beach.

Engel is accused of going to the library about 7 p.m. May 9, sitting on a bench inside across from three teenage girls, putting a newspaper across his lap and masturbating under the newspaper.

Prosecutors said the victims reported the incident to the librarian, but the defendant allegedly left the scene before police arrived.

A week later, Engel reportedly went to the same library. The librarian recognized him and contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which investigated. Engel was arrested at the library.

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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Robert Bruce Engel. Credit: Orange County District Attorney's office

 
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