HALIFAX -- A 56-year-old convicted sex offender is facing a charge of committing an indecent act after allegedly masturbating within sight of a group of tobogganing children.

James Michael Snow of Dartmouth was to appear in Dartmouth provincial court Wednesday.

Police say the children were sledding on a hill behind an apartment building Tuesday afternoon when they heard a cough and then witnessed a man masturbating in the window of one unit.

Police went to the scene and arrested Snow without incident at 1:11 p.m. He was held in custody overnight.

Snow is under a lifetime prohibition order that prevents him from attending public areas such as parks or swimming areas where persons under the age of 14 are present or can be reasonably expected to be present.

Last year, he was charged with a breach of prohibition order after being arrested while parked in a gold van near a daycare and indoor playground.

Snow was previously convicted in 2003 of sexually assaulting a child.