Paul Dorr is charged with fifth degree criminal mischief. Dorr protested what he called the failings of the church and moral leaders in northwest Iowa during a video in which he protested and burnt Orange City Library books that promote homosexuality and transgenderism to pre-K children.

Dorr checked the books out from the Orange City Library on Oct. 6, according to reports.

He protested the books on Oct. 19.

According to the Orange City Library’s website, the following schedule is followed for all overdue materials not returned after initial emails, texts and phone calls:

  • At least 7 days overdue, a first notice will be sent – phone, email or text
  • At least 14 days overdue, a second notification will be sent – letter, email or text
  • At least 28 days overdue, a letter with itemized bill of materials and costs will be sent along with a warning of impending legal action if the account is not cleared
  • 60 days overdue a certified letter will be sent with an itemized bill and a “notification of criminal action” as described in Iowa Code section 714.5. The cost of postage, certified mail, and return receipt will be assessed to the cardholder.
  • If the certified letter gets no result, the Library Director may contact law enforcement or the County Attorney.
  • Keeping library materials after library personnel have followed these steps to get public property back constitutes the crime of theft. The replacement charge includes the value of the item and a processing fee. When the item is paid for, the overdue fine will be waived.

Dorr checked the books out on Oct. 6. According to the library’s own policy, materials must be 60 days overdue before a certified letter will be sent with an itemized bill and a “notification of criminal action.” The Library Director will not contact law enforcement or the County Attorney unless the certified letter gets no result.

Dorr, though, was charged Nov. 8. Clearly the library did not follow its own protocol.

This matters because the books that Dorr burnt were paid for on Dec. 14. If the books were due two weeks after Dorr checked them out, then 60 days after the due date would’ve been Dec. 19.

Sioux County Attorney, Tom Kunstle, was asked if the books had indeed been paid for.

Kunstle, though, said he is unable to discuss any further case details while the case remains pending beyond the original criminal complaint.

The Orange City Library also said it had received more than $2,000 in donations as well as “several hundred” books in donations in lieu of Dorr’s actions.

Jacob Hall

Author: Jacob Hall