Man accused of masturbating while watching children’s gymnastics class outside Cleveland library

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – A 36-year-old man is accused of watching a group of young children and masturbating during gymnastics class outside a library in the Ohio City neighborhood.

Robert Fitten, 36, is accused of disseminating material harmful to minors, a fourth degree felony. He is being held at Cuyahoga County Jail on $ 35,000 bond after his first court appearance on Tuesday.

The incident happened around 10:40 a.m. Tuesday outside the Carnegie West branch of the Cleveland Public Library on Fulton Road and Bridge Avenue.

Nine children aged 4 to 12 were taking a gymnastics class in the grass outside the library, according to police reports.

A woman called the police after spotting Fitten about 50 feet from the classroom.

A 41-year-old woman later told police that Fitten had followed her as she left the library. She told police she looked at him and he walked behind her, staring at her and masturbating, according to police reports.

The woman said she hid in a nearby cafe and called the police. She looked outside and saw Fitten doing the same thing while following another woman.

Officers arrested Fitten shortly after on West 25th Street and Bridge Avenue. Fitten denied being near the library, according to police reports. Several witnesses identified Fitten.

Fitten was sentenced to two years in prison in 2003 in separate cases of robbery and theft.

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