Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Robert Wirtz - Repeat Sex Offender

A 46-year-old Winter Haven man was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison for molesting a teenage girl he met while volunteering at his church.

Circuit Judge Keith Spoto also sentenced Robert Wirtz to 12 years' probation.

The judge declared him to be a sexual predator.

Wirtz attended Trinity Congregational United Church of Christ in Winter Haven.

During his sentencing hearing, Wirtz said he was guilty of having a "compassionate heart."

He denied molesting the girl, who was 16 at the time, and a 13-year-old boy in another incident.

At trial, Wirtz testified that he offered to take the girl to his home July 6, 2007, so she could have a break from watching her siblings.

However, the girl told jurors that Wirtz offered to take her to the store, but then drove her to his home.

The girl testified that she fell asleep watching television and awoke to find Wirtz fondling her.

A jury found Wirtz guilty Sept. 11 of sexual battery.

In a separate incident, the boy told investigators that Wirtz fondled him and talked about sex.

Prosecutors dropped the charges relating to the boy after Wirtz was found guilty of molesting the girl.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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