ID check leads to BR man’s arrest for 1997 offense

A man accused of masturbating inside a Baton Rouge theater 16 years ago during an incident that led to the arrest of the owner of the former Regina Theater was arrested Thursday by Baton Rouge police officers.

On June 11, 1997, an undercover police officer witnessed Albert Genius, now 63, and several other men masturbating in front of each other inside what used to be the Regina Theater at 1746 Scenic Highway, according to the warrant for his arrest issued at the time.

Genius also performed oral sex on another man in public view during the incident, the warrant says.

On June 12, the officer went back to the theater with a search warrant and gave nine men, including Genius, misdemeanor summonses for obscenity, according to an arrest warrant issued later that month for the theater’s owner, Delores Southern.

More than 15 years later, Genius found himself booked into parish prison for the old offense after police, responding to a burglary alarm at a local business, made a routine identification check, said Cpl. Tommy Stubbs, a Baton Rouge police spokesman.

“This guy wasn’t committing a crime or anything,” Stubbs said, adding that he just happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Genius, 9286 Essex Bay Court, Baton Rouge, was booked Thursday afternoon into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of obscenity and crimes against nature, prison records show.

The Regina Theater, which was well known for showing late-night X-rated films, closed years ago.