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home : local news : local news August 19, 2017

3/26/2013 1:52:00 PM
Sex offender expected to plead to new charges
A repeat sex offender is expected to enter a plea in May after a court hearing set for Friday is continued.

Robert C. Stallings, 41, formerly of Robinson, was charged April 11, 2012, with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim less than 13 years old, a Class 2 felony. The court document alleges he touched the victim "for the purpose of sexual arousal of the defendant" between July 1 and July 25, 2011.

Stallings is currently in prison in New Castle, Ind., on an unrelated child molestation conviction from Gibson County, Ind. If he were to come to Illinois for the Friday hearing, he would have to remain in an Illinois jail while proceedings are completed, said his attorney, Jay Holtzhouser, in court. As a result, Holtzhouser requested a continuance until 11 a.m. May 10, which was granted by Circuit Court Judge Chris Weber.

The expected plea will end a series of investigations that saw Stallings charged in two different child sex abuse cases on both sides of the Wabash River.

Robinson police were already investigating Stallings when Gibson County detective Deborah Borchelt opened her own case in November 2011 after a girl made allegations of sexual touching in Indiana.

Before Borchelt asked Stallings to come in to an interview, she discovered the Robinson police investigation. Robinson police Sergeant David Marqua said Borchelt contacted him about interviewing Stallings on the Robinson charges. Marqua agreed and Borchelt interviewed Stallings about both cases.

During the interview Borchelt obtained a confession on the cases, Marqua said.

This was not Stallings's first conviction of sexual abuse of a child, police said. Officers said he was convicted in Kentucky in 1994 under the name Robert Charles Smith. He was wanted in Washington on a 1998 warrant for failure to register as a sex offender.

Stallings changed his name from Robert Charles Smith when he married a local woman, Marqua said.

Stallings was sentenced to nine years, 11 months and 29 days in Indiana prison on March 14, 2012. His earliest possible release date in Indiana is Dec. 5, 2016. That is also his expected release date.

Stallings ran Gemmstall Photography in Robinson and worked as the official photographer for the Robinson High School band during its trip to the Liberty Bowl in 2010. Marqua said the sex abuse case was not connected to his work.

Stallings never registered as a sex offender in Crawford County.

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