Accused takes plea in child sex case
By Gary Popp
Published in News on July 7, 2011 1:46 PM
After rejecting a plea deal on Tuesday afternoon, David Arron Roberts, 32, accepted the same offer Wednesday morning that included his admission to one count of first-degree sex offense against a 5-year-old girl.
Presiding Resident Superior Court Judge Jay Hockenbury subsequently sentenced Roberts to a minimum of 17 years and six months and a maximum of 21 years and nine months in the state Department of Correction.
Since Roberts accepted the plea, the state dismissed the rest of the charges against him, including three counts of first-degree sex offense, four counts of indecent liberties, third-degree sex exploitation of a minor and assault on a child under 12.
Roberts was facing charges in connection with an incident or incidents that allegedly occurred between Oct. 1 and Nov. 24, 2009. For part of that time, Roberts was living with the victim's grandmother, and the victim would have extended stays with her grandmother while Roberts was in the home.
Minutes before Hockenbury announced the sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Paige Rouse told the court that the grandmother previously stated that while Roberts was living at her residence, she had once entered a room of the home to find Roberts in what appeared to be an act of taking advantage of the child in a lewd manner.
Ms. Rouse then read to the court from a letter written by Roberts addressed to the grandmother where he graphically confessed to unlawful touching of the child and his desire to receive help for his problems of which he was powerless to control.
"I am sick. I need help," Ms. Rouse said, as she read from the letter. "One day I pray you will be able to forgive me."
Ms. Rouse continued to explain that Roberts then admitted himself into the Wayne County Hospital around Nov. 1 before being accepted into Cherry Hospital.
Roberts remained at Cherry Hospital until Nov. 24, 2009, when he was arrested by deputies of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.
He has remained incarcerated for the last year and seven months.
Roberts' court-appointed attorney, Charles Gurley, stated to the judge that his client had acknowledged his wrongdoing, admitted sorrow for his actions, and was glad to be putting these events behind him.
Roberts offered no comments to the court before being sentenced.