Boy's sex abuser gets 40 years

November 17, 2007|By Julie Scharper | Julie Scharper,SUN REPORTER

A 48-year-old Dundalk man was sentenced to 40 years in prison yesterday for committing sex acts with a 13-year-old boy whom he enticed with gifts, food and alcohol.

Robert Paul Layton, 48, is to serve his sentence concurrently with a 25-year sentence handed down Thursday by a federal judge for sex offenses that he committed against two other teenage boys, Baltimore County Circuit Judge Dana M. Levitz said.

Levitz said that he sentenced Layton, a registered sexual offender, to the maximum prison time not only to punish him but to prevent him from having future contact with boys.

"The inclination [to molest] is always going to be there, and given the right stimulus, he's going to act on it," the judge said. "I have to put Mr. Layton in a position where he isn't going to hurt anyone else."

Layton targeted the children of immigrants and poor people, bought them food and clothes and brought them to his home to play with his pets and his pool table, prosecutor Susan H. Hazlett said. He gave them alcohol and marijuana, and referred to some of them as his "spouses," she said.

As part of a plea agreement, Baltimore County prosecutors brought charges against Layton on two counts of second-degree sex offenses for his actions with one boy, but nine other boys in the county have accused him of molesting them, Hazlett said.

"Although this was not a stranger who grabbed children off a street corner, in some ways it's worse," Hazlett said. "He is a danger and will remain a danger for the rest of his life."

F. Spencer Gordon, an attorney representing Layton, likened his client's behavior to an addiction and said that he had tried to seek help after he was convicted of a third-degree sex offense in Prince George's County in 1994. Layton served seven years for that offense but did not receive psychiatric treatment, Gordon said.

Gordon asked the judge to sentence Layton to 40 years, with 20 years suspended, to be served concurrently with the federal sentence.

When the judge asked him if he would like to speak, Layton, a solidly built man with closely cropped gray hair, addressed the court in a quiet voice. He said that both boys and girls were "drawn" to him when they learned that he was a registered sexual offender.

"There are a lot of children out there, sir, who seek people who have done what I have done," he told the judge.

Layton cried softly as he spoke of the children he referred to as "my boys" and said, "I treated them good."

The judge described Layton as a "fixated pedophile" and said that he knew of no effective treatment for the condition.

"I've always thought these kind of guys were sad," he said.

julie.scharper@baltsun.com

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