After being fired, Library Director in Wyoming files outrageous lawsuit against local family who protested obscene books.

Lawsuit is full of distortions, untruths, and absurd charges – also attacks MassResistance.

Clearly meant to intimidate others from complaining. Appears to be supported by LGBT movement.

October 15, 2023
ALT TEXT Terri Lesley poses for a reporter as Campbell County Library Director. (Photo by Nick Reynolds/WyoFile)

The Library Director in Campbell County, Wyoming – recently fired for refusing to follow the Library Board’s new policy regarding obscene books – has filed a vicious (and frivolous) lawsuit in federal court against a local family who had complained about the books.

Terri Lesley was fired by the Library Board in July 2023. Now she is suing Hugh and Susan Bennett, who live in Gillette, WY, and their adult son Kevin. Lesley accuses the Bennetts of a laundry list of absurd alleged offenses, including unlawful and unconstitutional conduct, civil conspiracy, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and abuse of process claims. She is demanding financial compensation for a long list of “damages” to her that she alleges.

It is clearly meant to terrorize other parents into silence. Before the Bennetts ever saw it, the lawsuit found its way to the mainstream media across Wyoming. The Bennetts first heard about the lawsuit from a newspaper reporter!


The bizarre lawsuit appears to be supported by the LGBT movement and its allies in the pornography industry. It is obviously meant to punish the Bennetts for expressing their First Amendment rights – and to intimidate others around the country from complaining about obscene books and materials. In addition, the lawsuit attacks (and libels) MassResistance and uses photos from our website.

ALT TEXT Hugh Bennett addresses the County Commission on July, 2021 about the books, asking them to take some action.
ALT TEXT In 2021 Susan Bennett shows the County Commissioners the federal report on preventing child sexual exploitation - and describes how the local library is part of the problem. But the Commissioners weren't interested.
ALT TEXT Kevin Bennett testifies before the Library Board in December, 2021 as local parents seated behind him look on.

Background – Two years of parents battling for a clean library

Campbell County is a very conservative area (in a conservative state) which had unfortunately attracted leftist public officials. The firing of Terri Lesley caps two years of fighting by citizens in the county to get the obscenity and graphic sexuality targeting children removed from their public library. (See our posts here.) If anything, the parents should be suing Lesley.

  1. Horrible books discovered. In the summer of 2021, parents began discovering horrible books in the children’s and teens’ sections of the library. The books were focused on and promoted graphic sexuality and depraved behaviors. Subjects included homosexuality, transgenderism, anal sex, oral sex, bondage and sado-masochism, promiscuity, sex with strangers, “enjoying” pornography, surgically removing genitals, and more. Much of it is written in a particularly lurid fashion. The books lack any redeeming quality.
  2. Billboards. Parents formed a Wyoming MassResistance chapter. In August 2021 they raised money and paid for billboards to notify people of the problems in the library.
  3. Testimony by parents – and harassment from leftists. This group of parents also began to testify regularly at the County Commission meetings and Library Board meetings to demand something be done. (The County Commission appoints the Library Board members.)  The parents read passages from the books. Terri Lesley also testified, using left-wing American Library Association (ALA) talking points supporting the books. Local leftists would come to insult and harass the parents. Neither the County Commissioners nor the Library Board members would act.
  4. Library invites “transgender” performer. In July 2021, the Library invited a “transgender” magician to perform for children. Parents protested prior to the event, and the two shows were canceled. The library claimed there were “threats” but could not produce any evidence of that. The next day, LGBT activists defaced a local church with ugly transgender messages.
  5. Library employee organizes boycott of Bennett’s business. In early August 2021, the library’s Youth Services Librarian (who worked for Terri Lesley) publicly organized a boycott against Hugh Bennett’s business. The Bennetts were selected for this abuse because their online magazine ran an article critical of the “transgender” performer.
  6. Parents file criminal obscenity complaint – which is rejected. On September 29, Hugh and Susan Bennett showed they were not going to be intimidated. They filed a complaint with the local Sheriff’s office under Wyoming statute 6-2-31, which makes it a crime to “knowingly encourage anyone less than 14 years old to engage in sexual intrusion.” The books were promoting that to children. The complaint was transferred to another county prosecutor to avoid “conflict of interest.” But that county prosecutor cowardly decided that a how-to book for minors on mutual masturbation, oral sex, and anal sex to minors does not constitute “encouragement” of sex, and he refused to act on it.
  7. Public comment banned at Commission and Library Board meetings. The MassResistance parents continued to demand that their public officials take action on the obscene books. In reaction, both the County Commission and the Library Board banned all public comments at their meetings! The Library Board also voted to keep the obscene books in the library. Terri Lesley continued to defend the books using ALA talking points.
  8. Re-shuffled County Commission restores public comment. In January 2022, a conservative became Commission chairman and one of the leftist members resigned (and was replaced by a conservative). The County Commission now had a solid conservative majority and they decided to support the Wyoming MassResistance parents. In February, they started by restoring public comment.
  9. In May 2022, the County Commission cut the library’s budget by $42,000.
  10. New (conservative) Library Board. In August 2022, the Commission appointed four new conservative members to the Library Board, giving conservatives a 4-1 majority.
  11. New Library Board cuts ties with ALA. On October 24, 2022 the new Library Board voted to cut all ties with the far-left pro-LGBT American Library Association and its Wyoming affiliate. This drew national attention to the fight.
  12. New Library Board passes strong policy to keep out porn. MassResistance connected with the pro-family legal group Liberty Counsel to craft an ironclad policy to keep obscene books out and remove current obscenity. In July, the Library Board formally adopted the policy.
  13. Terri Lesley refuses to follow policy, so is fired. She stated that she would not follow the policy. When they asked her to resign, she refused. So the Library Board voted to fire her.
  14. Leftists flood Library Board meetings, insult and harass conservatives. Pro-LGBT activists from several neighboring counties flooded into the Library Board meeting on the day that Terri Lesley was officially fired – and also the following meeting – to insult and harass the Library Board members as well as conservative parents who showed up (using quite a bit of profanity). Liberal media across the country (including CNN and the Associated Press) wrote articles supporting Lesley.

The outrageous lawsuit

Terri Lesley’s 44-page lawsuit is surprisingly poorly written for a legal document. It reads like a rambling angry rant. She attacks parents’ testimony in opposition to the obscene books as if their statements were illegal. She portrays criticism of her job performance as personal harassment. (Throughout the document she includes photos from the MassResistance website.) Here are some of the statements, characterizations, and false allegations in her lawsuit:

Terri Lesley reserves special venom for MassResistance:

She attempts to stretch the law for her own ends. She claims that the parents’ continual complaints about the books constituted a “criminal conspiracy” against her. She further claims citizens trying to get her fired was an “unlawful goal.” She says that the parents’ complaints caused her “emotional distress” which also makes them liable for damages.

ALT TEXT Wyoming MassResistance parents hold signs in front of the library.
ALT TEXT Radical LGBT activists with their hateful signs were allowed to heckle the parents during Library Board meetings.

The lawyers

Lesley is being represented by a Colorado-based so-called “super-lawyer” who worked with Wyoming Equality to get a federal judge to strike down Wyoming’s gay marriage ban. He says, “I like to go back there and just mess with the state as much as I can.”

As we write this, the Bennetts have still not been served with the lawsuit, nor do they have a lawyer. Since Liberty Counsel has drafted the Library Board’s new book policy and knows this situation – and often take these kinds of cases pro-bono – we have reached out to them and are awaiting their reply.

Final thoughts

Not surprisingly, Lesley repeats the ridiculous leftist talking point that the First Amendment prevents a local Library Board from determining which books it may have in its public library (e.g., books on baseball versus books on field hockey). The decision of the radicals on the staff is final according to Lesley.

But she ignores the fact that the First Amendment clearly states that people have the right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” She doesn’t want any complaints from the public.

Nothing that the Bennetts did is criminal or even actionable. What they did is what people on the Right and Left do every day across America. They complained about their government. This lawsuit is about silencing conservatives and instilling fear.

It’s also pertinent to point out what the Bennetts (or any of the other conservative citizens) didn’t do to Lesley. They didn’t “dox” her. They didn’t publish her personal address or phone number. They were civil. But leftists and LGBT activists often do these things to conservatives.

This is basically “lawfare” – term for illegitimately using expensive legal proceedings as a weapon to bankrupt, imprison, or destroy an opponent. That has become a common tool of the Left in recent years against conservatives.

In our opinion, the outrageous anti-American nature of this lawsuit, and the fact that it’s obviously being supported by the LGBT movement, will make it a very high-profile case. Terri Lesley and her lawyers want to change America so that any citizen who vigorously complains about a public official’s actions can be sued for damages. We will keep you informed.

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