$100,000 bail set for Westminster man accused of sexual molestations

January 04, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Roy Monroe Robertson -- a Westminster man who says he is a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Carroll County fisherman 11 months ago -- is behind bars on charges of sexually molesting children.

Mr. Robertson, 44, was arrested Friday on a 14-count indictment that charges him with second- and third-degree sexual offenses, sodomy, perverted practice, child abuse and incest. Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. set bail yesterday at $100,000.

State police Cpl. Wayne Moffatt testified at the bail review hearing that a 6-year-old girl had told her grandmother that Mr. Robertson "sexed" her more than 13 times. Corporal Moffatt also said his interview with the girl led to another 6-year-old girl who told of similar experiences with Mr. Robertson.

The police investigation began Sept. 26 and included interviews with other people -- two women and a man in their 30s -- in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Two of the adults said Mr. Robertson had molested them between 1960 and 1971, and the third said she was molested in the 1980s, according to the indictments.

"All of the victims were consistent with what they told me," Corporal Moffatt said after the bail review.

Mr. Robinson gave an emphatic "No!" when asked by defense attorney Judith S. Stainbrook if he was guilty of the charges.

Ms. Stainbrook told Judge Beck that the molestation charges were a ruse to compel Mr. Robertson to answer questions about the Feb. 18 fatal shooting of a friend, Westminster fisherman William C. Prodoehl.

"I believe the charges here now really have nothing to do with sexual abuse," Ms. Stainbrook told the judge. "All of this is an attempt to try and get Mr. Robertson in custody to try and question him in the Prodoehl case."

Yesterday, Corporal Moffatt denied Ms. Stainbrook's allegations. In fact, he said, the first two people he interviewed in the child abuse investigation didn't even use Mr. Robertson's name. "We didn't even know who this guy was for a while into the investigation," the corporal said.

State police have made no arrests in the slaying, although Mr. Robertson claims to be a prime suspect.

He and Gina Maria Catterton Prodoehl, the victim's wife, reported finding Mr. Prodoehl's body in the snow beside the Monocacy River in Harney. Mr. Prodoehl had been shot in the head.

Mr. Robertson, who lived with the Prodoehls and their two children, had gone with Mrs. Prodoehl in search of her husband when he failed to return from a fishing trip.

In May, Mr. Robertson said that Carroll State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman deceitfully obtained his private mental health records from the Springfield Hospital Center.

Mr. Robertson alleged that Mr. Hickman obtained the records by telling Springfield officials the documents were being sought in a "suspected case of abuse or neglect." Mr. Hickman's stamped signature appeared on the form-letter-style request sent to Springfield.

In all cases other than abuse or neglect -- including murder -- mental health records can be released only with the patient's permission or a court order.

Three days after Mr. Roberston filed a lawsuit against Mr. Hickman, the state's attorney's office returned the records to the hospital, saying they were useless anyway.

At the time, Mr. Hickman denied using deceit to obtain the records but stopped short of saying his office was actively investigating an abuse case involving Mr. Robertson.

In June, Mr. Hickman said the records matter was nothing more than a clerical error.

Yesterday, he stood by that assertion, but declined to discuss the abuse indictment against Mr. Robertson because it is "a pending case."

Mr. Robertson was to testify July 29 before a Carroll grand jury about the Prodoehl slaying, but the state's attorney's office declined to call him as a witness after a Carroll judge ordered that his testimony must be recorded.

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