A 60-year-old Odenton man charged with indecent exposure following an incident last month on the 5th floor of UMBC’s Albert O. Kuhn Library is free on $20,000 bail and currently awaiting trial scheduled for Dec. 14.
Hubert Benjamin Shand was arrested Oct. 10 in Anne Arundel County after a warrant was issued for his arrest on Sep. 20, eight days after the incident took place. A witness to the incident reported it to AOK library staff who then reported the incident to UMBC police.
After being committed to the Anne Arundel Detention Center on Oct. 10, Shand was transferred to the Baltimore County Detention Center and then released eight days later upon posting bail.
Shand appears to have a history of this type of behavior. In April 2016, he was charged with indecent exposure at Towson University, found guilty, and sentenced to three years in jail at the Baltimore County Detention Center. He was released prior to the completion of his full sentence.
Library staff said Shand was a frequent visitor to the building, but little can be done to prevent incidents such as this one.
“Public institutions and public buildings are open to the public. You’re always going to have all types of people that come in,” said Patrick J. Dawson, director of the AOK Library and Art Gallery.
The Retriever Learning Center, a large study room within the AOK library, requires students to use their campus ID’s to enter. Library staff will often walk in and check to make sure people within the RLC are, in fact, students.
Dawson explained, however, that the reason they can do this is because the RLC is open twenty-four hours a day, well beyond the standard operating hours of the entire building. Campus ID swipe access can therefore not be applied to the rest of the building.
UMBC police issued a campus-wide alert the day of the incident detailing the suspect’s physical appearance and asking anyone with information to contact university police. At the time of the alert, police indicated they knew the suspect was a “black male, approximately 150 to 175 lbs., wearing a blue and white striped shirt, blue jeans, and salt and pepper hair with a beard and goatee.”
The policy for releasing campus alerts is ambiguous with certain crimes, such as indecent exposure, but Deputy Chief of Police Paul Dillon felt it was necessary.
“Does somebody who exposes [himself] to another person present a danger? You could argue both sides of that,” he said. “We chose to err on the side of ‘let’s do it and make our community aware.’ ”
The maximum sentence for indecent exposure in the state is three years along with a $1,000 fine, and while some states mandate that those charged with indecent exposure must register as sex offenders, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled in 2009 that the criminal act is not a sexual offense by nature.
If Shand is found guilty, Dillon also added that he will be issued a so-called “ban letter” from the university, making his mere presence on campus a criminal act of trespassing.