Conversing with children causes arrest of Folsom man

By Roger Phelps The Telegraph

After an El Dorado Hills mom reported observing a strange man speaking with her two children at each of three children's-story events, deputies arrested the man at his Folsom home.

Victor Emmer, 49, was arrested March 13 on suspicion of loitering where children gather.

"It's an odd charge," said sheriff's Sgt. Jim Byers, noting the statute intends chiefly to protect school-grounds neighborhoods. "The family was at the Folsom Borders Books story-telling time, where he (spoke to one of the children), and for lack of a better term, he creeped the mom out. Then, a few days later at the

El Dorado Hills Library story time, she saw him again striking up conversation with her children. And then, he does it again. We felt it justified a criminal complaint, she signed it and he was arrested."

The case appears unrelated to recent report of unwelcome advances to children in the area by a middle-aged man driving a dark-colored van or SUV, Byers said.

When investigators heard a low bail amount set for Emmer, they explained to a judge that they believed it was too low. Now bail in the case is set at $100,000, and Emmer has bailed out of custody, Byers said.

Investigators want to hear about any similar incidents, he said.

“He is not a registered sex offender in Folsom or California and we have not found any information to indicate he has any prior offenses,” said Lt. Sheldon Sterling of the Folsom Police Department.

[Ed: Okay so... this guy talks to children in a public setting and, because of that and because a mother thought him to be "creepy", he is arrested and given a $100,000 bail? Did I hear this correctly? When did "
loitering where children gather" become a crime? Apparently, it's a felony, and a rather serious one that warrants a high bail. Did you know about this?]

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