Ashley Kyle Morgan, a 42 year-old Leonardtown man who was charged with interrupting the Lexington Park library’s drag queen story hour event earlier this summer, was sentenced to serve 10 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to the charge of trespassing at a public agency during a court hearing on Thursday.
Morgan faced this charge, along with four other misdemeanor charges that were dropped, after being arrested at the Lexington Park library on June 23. He had ran past the check-in table at the event and entered the meeting room, and began to address children who were attending the event, telling them “do not believe these lies” told by “men in dresses.”
Court documents state that Morgan “was advised to stop multiple times by library security” and police, but he “continued to pull away and run around chairs and tables set up in the room and continued to yell” at the approximately 75 people in the room.
The event was sponsored by the nonprofits Southern Maryland Area Secular Humanists, or SMASH, and PFLAG of Leonardtown, which reserved the use of a meeting room at the library where several dozen parents and children signed up to participate in a story time and other activities presented by two men dressed as women.
Morgan was sentenced to 180 days, suspended to 10 days, in jail by District Court Judge Robyn Riddle, and was placed on three years of supervised probation.
The St. Mary’s County commissioners decided in July to retroactively move nearly $2,500 from the St. Mary’s County Library budget to the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office to pay for event security, including overtime and compensation pay to 16 deputies. That vote drew ire from some in the community who said the move equated to fining the library system for upholding its own meeting room guidelines, and resulted in the Maryland attorney general’s office contacting the county attorney about First Amendment rights.