GREENVILLE - Robert Lambert, 67, Arcanum, was found guilty of three counts of gross sexual imposition, Tuesday morning by Judge Jonathan P. Hein, after pleading no contest to three of the 10 charges pending against him.
The original indictment from February 2014 listed five counts of rape, a felony of the first degree, and five counts of gross sexual imposition, a felony of the third degree, dating back to at least 2003. County Prosecutor R. Kelly Ornsby gave a record of the facts for the three counts of gross sexual imposition.
“The evidence the state would have been presenting is that [these events] involved the improper touching of the girl’s [privates] by the defendant, and that they all occurred at the place of residence of the defendant where he lived, in, basically, a mobile home, right next to the victim’s mobile home,” Ornsby stated. “They all occurred on that property, near Arcanum, in Darke County, Ohio, in 2003, 2005, and 2007, and at all those times, the young lady was obviously under 13.”
Lambert, who has only an eighth grade education and cannot read, plead no contest, and as part of the plea bargain, five counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition were dropped from his charges.
“Mr. Lambert, based upon the indictment counts two, six and 10, based upon the pleadings in the file, based upon Mr. Ornsby’s state, Mr. Rohrer’s concession, and your no contest plea, based upon the discovery that’s provided to the court, with all that in mind, I’ll accept your no contest pleas, and I will enter findings that you are guilty of three counts of gross sexual imposition, each third degree felonies, as a part of the agreement, the remaining charges will be dismissed, so you’re guilty of only counts two, six and 10,” Judge Jonathan Hein stated following proceedings.
Lambert will remain out on bail, but requested that he be taken off of house arrest.
“As a condition of the bond, [Lambert] has been on house arrest,” stated Lambert’s attorney, David Rohrer. “The alleged victim in this case has been off the property for quite a long time, and now the mother is off the property. My client basically remains on that property out there, if goes anywhere, he goes with his wife in the back of the court room, Patty. There has been no contact, whatsoever, between the victim and my client. So I would just ask that the condition of house arrest be lifted until sentencing.”
Ornsby argued that given the volatile nature of the case, that Lambert not be released from house arrest. Katie Linkous, Darke County Probation, stated that there have been no known issues with Lambert going against his house arrest. Judge Hein made the decision to release Lambert from house arrest until sentencing in September, but stated that the no contact order between Lambert and the victim would remain in place.
“The circumstances of the victim have changed, if there’s not any interference, the additional restrict is probably not necessary,” Hein stated. “And frankly, with our limited resources, we could use the brace to put on our higher risk people that are running around shoving needles in their arms, so I’m going to remove that restriction. I appreciate what you’re saying, Mr. Orsnby. The no contact order stays in place.”
Lambert will appear for sentencing on Sept. 4, at 10:30 a.m. He faces a maximum of 15 years, five years per charge of gross sexual imposition, and a maximum of $30,000 in fines; neither of these possible sentences are mandatory, though registering as a sex offender will be mandatory for 10 years, he explained.