An acting teacher was charged Monday for allegedly masturbating in front of a 10-year-old girl in St. Paul's Riverview Library on Saturday, and authorities are concerned he could have more victims.
Nicholas C. Barghini, 31, was charged Monday in Ramsey County with fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. He declined to speak to police and did not return messages seeking comment.
Barghini provided this self-description on his LinkedIn profile, "… I own Headcase Films & Fashion (headcasefnf.com). We make streetwear & provide feelings.
"I haven't always felt comfortable showing my (full) self to the world, and this company was born out of that discomfort."
Investigators suspect that Barghini committed a similar act with another young girl on June 17 at the same library, according to St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders. Both incidents, which occurred in the library's auditorium, were caught on surveillance video, Linders said.
According to police and the criminal complaint: The girl from Saturday and four other girls were dropped off at the library about 2 p.m. to attend a class for "developing confidence, overall performance technique, and acting technique." About 4 p.m., the victim's mother picked up the girl, and the girl said she didn't want to return to the class because "the teacher was doing weird stuff," Linders said.
The girl's mother called Barghini, who told her that he instructed the girl to act as if she were in a "banana boat commercial," the charges said.
"He apologized for his 'acting technique' and told the girl's mother he did not intend to make the girl uncomfortable," the complaint said. Barghini also allegedly said he recorded the girl on camera.
The girl's mother drove back to the library, where surveillance video showed the girl lying facedown on a couch. The suspect allegedly sat down and held her feet near his lap, and then removed her shoes and socks. He knelt on the ground and began masturbating as he smelled and touched her feet. He also allegedly used his phone to take photos or video.
According to the complaint: Police arrested him at his St. Paul home and allegedly found a piece of paper in his wallet titled, "What I Want." The third item on the list said, "I want a cult." Under the heading "sex goals," it says: pre 13, 13-17, 18+ and 40+.
Library records show that in 2017, Barghini reserved rooms once in the Rondo Library and four times at the Merriam Park Library. Not all reservation records were available Monday.
Barghini's online résumé notes that he has volunteered at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center as a camp counselor and coached sports at Linwood Monroe Arts Plus school in St. Paul.
Police are asking anyone with information to call 651-266-5685.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708