ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A superior court judge has ruled in a case dating back to July of 2016, where a young girl told authorities that a Title Wave Books employee had exposed his penis to her inside the store.
Michael Cunningham, 43, was found guilty of indecent exposure for his crime, to which he confessed his guilt. The State presented surveillance video which showed Cunningham exposing himself and masturbating in the presence of the child.
Cunningham was working as a bookseller at the midtown Anchorage store at the time, and the 7-year-old female victim was visiting from out of state. According to a statement issued by the District Attorney's office, he exposed himself to a seven year old girl who asked him for help finding the Harry Potter section of Title Wave.
A manager at the store, Angela Libal, told police that she had received a phone call form the victim's mother, describing the incident. When she looked at the video footage, she identified Cunningham, an employee, on sight.
According to a police report, the 7-year-old victim was in town with family and stopped at the bookstore. The victim told police "she was in the Harry Potter section and she saw a man with a hole in his pants and his penis was out." Police noted the victim also told them that "when she went to the register the man had put a book over his penis and waved at her."
Cunningham has been arrested for similar incidents in the past, police say, though not in Alaska. They say he was on probation for the same crime, indecent exposure, in Oregon, but had recently moved to Alaska, where he had no criminal record.
Police say Cunningham later confessed that he "likes young girls" and that "he is a pedophile."
Angela Libal, the owner and manager of Title Wave Books, says Cunningham was an employee in the 2016 summer and was terminated in July of last year. She released this statement.
“We were appalled at Cunningham’s behavior and worked closely with the District Attorney’s office." Title Wave has been a part of the Anchorage community for 27 years. We are a family-friendly, safe, bookstore. We have added extra vetting to our employment process. I am thankful for the speedy and professional response by the police officers and the District Attorney’s office."