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Activist charged for burning library books

A screenshot of Paul Dorr's public Facebook video depicts him placing the Orange City Public Library's copy of "Families, Families, Families" in a burn barrel.1 / 2
Dorr2 / 2

ORANGE CITY, Iowa — An Ocheyedan, Iowa man has been criminally charged for burning four books belonging to the Orange City Public Library — a scene he posted to his Facebook page in an apparent protest of the city’s gay pride festival and contents of the LGBTQ-themed books.

According to public records, Paul R. Dorr, 62, has been charged with fifth-degree criminal mischief related to an Oct. 19 incident in which he publicly burned the library’s property and posted it to his “Rescue the Perishing” Facebook page. As of Friday afternoon, the 29-minute video was still publicly available on the page.

Dorr is also known in the Worthington area as the Worthington Citizens for Progress’ long-hired consultant charged with defeating Independent School District 518 referendums.

In the beginning of his video, Dorr prays that people stick with him to the end, promising what he called a “very interesting — to say the least,” finale, foreshadowing the book-burning scene.

In the scene, he tosses four books into a burn barrel that he clearly identifies having the Orange City Public Library’s official property stamp. They include: “Two Boys Kissing,” by David Levithan; “Families, Families, Families,” by Suzanne and Max Lang; “This Day in June” by Gayle E. Pitman; and “Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress,” by Christine Baldacchino.

Following the burning the books, Dorr is accompanied by four small children, and he throws a tangerine dress into the fire.

According to the affidavit filed Nov. 8 in Sioux County District Court, Dorr checked out the four books from the library on Oct. 6. He is accused of damaging the books beyond use.

According to Iowa State Statute, a conviction of a simple misdemeanor charge bears the penalty of a fine between $65 and $625, a 30-day jail-sentence or both.

Dorr is scheduled to make an 8:30 a.m. Jan. 22 initial appearance in Sioux County District Court in Orange City, Iowa.

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