Friday, June 18, 2010

Robert Kolibas - Repeat Sex Offender - Sorry Victims feel Victimized

"To all the families involved, any type of people who thought they were victims, I'm sorry you feel that way"
--Robert Kolibas

"To all the families involved, any type of people who thought they were victims, I'm sorry you feel that way," Robert Kolibas told people gathered in a Burlington courtroom.
Few people in the courtroom believed that apology from Kolibas. This spring, a jury convicted the Williston 51-year-old of turning his daughter's sleepover into a nightmare by sneaking knock-out drugs into a houseguest's smoothie, then fondling the teenager in her groggy stupor.
Victim's advocate Karen Burns read a letter from the girl saying Kolibas stole her innocence. "You didn't think I would stop you, but you messed with the wrong girl," Burns read.

"I can't take back what happened," Kolibas said in court, "and I hope the community can forgive me."

Kolibas never addressed the impact of the molestation on the victim, just the strain of the trial. He maintains his innocence but Vt. District Court Judge Michael Kupersmith wasn't buying it.

"I think you know full-well what you did," the judge said.
Kupersmith laid into Kolibas for never accepting responsibility for his actions. At trial, Kolibas claimed he only meant to drug his now-ex wife, to shut her up following an argument. The pills, he said, somehow got mixed into the girl's drink and she was confused about what followed.

"You've always tried to blame others. And your story reeks with self-pity. And it's despicable. I have no reason to believe you'll ever be rehabilitated," Judge Kupersmith said.

Kolibas had hoped for two to 10 years in prison but Judge Kupersmith gave him 22 to 25, calling the crime unconscionable and saying it goes against the pride of safe communities Vermonters stand for.
"You've done a horrible disservice to the community," the judge said.

A spokeswoman told reporters the victim and her relatives are pleased the judge handed down a severe sentence for the severe trauma they've been through.

"They're looking forward to going on with their life, moving forward, and they're happy with the decision that was made today," said Kristine Bickford of the Children's Advocacy Center.
The defense attorney for Kolibas, Peggy Jansch, says she plans an appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court on this conviction. Her client is also facing other misdemeanor charges for allegedly possessing child pornography. Kolibas denies those charges, too.
Wednesday's sentencing hearing was put on hold briefly, when Jansch objected to Judge Kupersmith's handling of the hearing. Jansch accused the judge of being biased for making comments that showed he agreed with the jury's verdict.

The state's administrative judge was called in to settle that, and found there was no personal bias. Judge Amy Davenport ruled it was acceptable for Kupersmith to agree with the jury because he sat through all the same testimony, and that his remarks did not indicate those feelings impacted his ability to issue a fair sentence. Kolibas may ask for a different judge for future court dates, Jansch said.

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

"On average most sex offenders are never caught again for a new sex offense, after five years, between 10 and 15 percent of sex offenders are detected, often convicted, of committing a new sex offense. If you follow them for ten years the rates go up somewhat, if you follow them as long as we’ve been able to follow them, which is about 20 years, the rates go up to somewhere between 30 to 40 percent of the total sample will eventually be caught for a new sex offense."
Dr. R. Karl Hansen

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