2 girls testify that man tied them up, molested them - Suspect dated their mothers

CHULA VISTA – Two girls told a judge yesterday that they were tied up and molested by an Imperial Beach man their mothers dated between 1998 and 2002. Neither of the mothers knew each other, and they dated Robert Samuel Kircher at different times, but their daughters gave strikingly similar accounts in graphic detail of what happened to them. At the end of the hearing in Chula Vista Superior Court, Judge Esteban Hernandez ordered Kircher held in jail without bail pending a hearing June 7 to set a trial date.

2 girls testify that man tied them up, molested them
Suspect dated their mothers


Source: SignOnSanDiego.com
By the Union-Tribune


By Ray Huard
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

May 24, 2007

CHULA VISTA – Two girls told a judge yesterday that they were tied up and molested by an Imperial Beach man their mothers dated between 1998 and 2002.

Neither of the mothers knew each other, and they dated Robert Samuel Kircher at different times, but their daughters gave strikingly similar accounts in graphic detail of what happened to them.

At the end of the hearing in Chula Vista Superior Court, Judge Esteban Hernandez ordered Kircher held in jail without bail pending a hearing June 7 to set a trial date.

Kircher, 40, is charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault on a child and seven counts of committing lewd acts on a child under 14, Deputy District Attorney Claudine Ruiz said outside the courtroom.

If tried and convicted of all charges, Kircher faces a maximum penalty of life in prison, Ruiz said.

An 11-year-old girl, who since has moved to Georgia, testified that when she was 6 or 7, Kircher bound her hands and feet with duct tape and put tape across her mouth to keep her quiet while he molested her in his bedroom, his bathroom and a barn behind his house in Imperial Beach.

The girl said Kircher threatened her, telling her: "If you tell anybody, I'll kill your mom."

The girl said she kept quiet until 2002 when she told her grandmother while they were driving on an interstate in Georgia. She said her mother was thinking of moving back to Imperial Beach to be with Kircher.

"I was scared to go back," the girl said.

Georgia police investigated but never filed charges against Kircher because they couldn't find corroborating evidence, San Diego County Sheriff's Detective Paul Ward testified. Ward said county officials reopened that case when the family of a second girl filed a complaint against Kircher.

That girl, who is now 15, testified that Kircher once tied her arms and legs with rope to a weight bench in the bedroom of his home and had sex with her.

More often, the girl testified, Kircher molested her on his living room couch, sometimes while her mother and younger brother were elsewhere in the house.

She said Kircher molested her "maybe a couple of times a week" for the year her mother dated him.

The girl said she told a friend at the time but didn't go to any adults because she was 8 years old and "I didn't know anything was wrong."

She said that as she grew older, she realized what happened to her was wrong and she ultimately told her grandfather in November 2006.

"It had been bothering me and I had a dream about it the night before, and he asked what was wrong and I told him," the girl testified.

An analyst with the Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory in San Diego, Marion Lowe, testified that he found "questionable images" on Kircher's laptop computer, which may have been of child pornography. Lowe said he was not an expert in determining the ages of the males and females shown in the pictures.

Ward testified that there was no doubt in his mind that some images were of young teenagers engaging in real or simulated sex.

Ray Huard: (619) 542-4597; ray.huard@uniontrib.com

[Original Article on SignOnSanDiego.com web site ]