Archive for Wednesday, July 23, 2008

13-year sentence likely in online sex sting

July 23, 2008

A 39-year-old Carbondale man who was caught in a November sex sting in Baldwin City recently pleaded guilty to three charges and faces a prison sentence.

Robert J. Starkebaum pleaded guilty to electronic solicitation of a child, attempted rape and attempted criminal sodomy. According to earlier testimony, he had conversed using an Internet chat site with a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl, but was actually a Baldwin City police officer.

Officers waited for him outside Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center on Nov. 2 - when there was no school. According to testimony, he offered to pay the girl and her 12-year-old friend $100 each for sex.

Prosecutors had said he drove to Baldwin City with condoms and cash. According to testimony, Starkebaum had told officers he was a disabled veteran of the first Persian Gulf War and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was bipolar.

Douglas County District Judge Robert Fairchild will sentence Starkebaum at 10 a.m. Oct. 6. Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said he will not seek consecutive sentences if the defense does not ask for probation.

With no criminal history and concurrent sentences, Starkebaum would receive a 13-year prison sentence.

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