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Man charged in Monroe library fires

A Monroe man has been charged with intentionally setting fires at the Union County Public Library after he was banned for allegedly harassing female patrons, police said.

Henry Authur Winchester Jr., 20, was charged Thursday with burning an unoccupied building and burning of personal property, both felonies, Monroe Police Det. Gabe Broome said.

The fires occurred late at night Tuesday and Wednesday, when no one was inside. In the first incident, Winchester is accused of setting fire to a decorative trash can outside the library at 316 Windsor St East, Broome said. The second night, a second trash can was lit next to the library's rear entrance, causing $8,000 of heat and smoke damage to the building's exterior.

Broome said the fires appeared to have been retaliation for Winchester's July 15 banning. Patrons had complained to staff about 10 times over the past two years, accusing Winchester of misconduct toward women, Broome said.

The library's assistant director, Dana Eure, said the misconduct was annoying to patrons but not sexual.

Winchester was freed on $2,000 unsecured bond shortly after his arrest. He was not listed in several telephone directories and could not be reached for comment.

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