A convicted sex offender who was barred from going to public places where kids gather is accused of trespassing in a Kennewick library.
Russell Louis Rust, 24, pleaded innocent last week in Benton County Superior Court to criminal trespass against children. His trial is set for Oct. 20.
The Richland man has a history of being inside libraries despite knowing he is not allowed to enter any schools, parks, public swimming pools or libraries in Benton and Franklin counties.
In 2009, Rust was convicted in Benton County District Court for communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. He also has two subsequent convictions for failing to register as a sex offender.
Rust is considered a Level II sex offender, which means there is a moderate risk of him committing another sex crime.
In May 2010, Rust reportedly approached four children at a Mid-Columbia Library branch and encouraged a girl to sit next to him and passed her a note, according to Herald records.
The children, ages 11 to 13, went home and told their parents, who called police and went back to the library to address the issue.
The library suspended Rust's privileges for a year. He was arrested at the time for not complying with his sex offender restrictions.
Rust again signed trespass documents in March 2012 informing where he is to stay away from under state law.
But prosecutors allege that Feb. 24, Rust was inside the Keewaydin Park Library in violation of his "covered offender" status.
A teen girl alerted Robert Herigstad, the library manager, at 4:30 p.m. that there was a sex offender using a library computer, court documents said. The girl asked Herigstad if he could make the man leave.
Herigstad went online to the Benton County Sheriff's Office OffenderWatch website to verify that the man using a computer was in fact a sex offender.
He then called the sheriff's office to find out if Rust was not allowed in a public library. He didn't hear back from authorities, so he allowed Rust to stay, documents said.
The following day, Herigstad heard from a sheriff's detective that Rust is barred from libraries and should have been kicked out.
Rust is out of custody on his personal recognizance while the case is pending.
Trial for man charged with killing pedestrian delayed
The trial for a motorist charged with killing a pedestrian crossing a busy Kennewick street has been delayed to Nov. 17.
Michael S. Johnson waived his right to a speedy trial for the vehicular homicide case.
Johnson is accused of driving at least 72 mph on the posted 40 mph street when he hit Nina Howard.
Howard, 52, was pronounced dead by Kennewick paramedics. She was not in a crosswalk when crossing West 27th Avenue, west of the Ely Street intersection.
Police concluded that the collision would not have occurred had Johnson "been traveling more slowly" so he could have stopped his 1966 Chevy Nova in time, court documents said.
Johnson initially told police he was driving between 35 and 40 mph, then later admitted he was over the speed limit but didn't know how much because his speedometer wasn't working, documents said.
The vehicular homicide charge is for driving in a reckless manner and/or with disregard for the safety of others, causing Howard's death.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: KristinMKraemer