8-year-old Molested by Man; Perpetrator Contacted Victim after Serving Time in Prison; Now Facing Charges

A man from Kendallville who was found guilty of child molestation in 2004 has been charged with two counts of breaking a protective order because he is said to have sent letters to a family member who was protected by a judge’s order twice.

On July 28, 2004, Robert K. Stienbarger, now 71 years old, of Kendallville was given 30 years in prison for a sex crime he committed against a girl younger than 8 years old. He got 600 days off for the time he spent in jail before his sentence.

A Class A crime, child molesting, and a Class C felony, criminal confinement, were brought against Stienbarger. He pleaded guilty to both charges before being sentenced in 2004. After Stienbarger pleaded yes to the other charges, the charge of habitual offender was dropped. This was because he had already been convicted of two theft-related felonies in the past.

In order to follow his punishment, Stienbarger was told not to talk to his victim again.

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The new charges said that Stienbarger wrote letters to a protected party about the first order on August 2, 2018, and April 29, 2019.

Both charges of invasion of privacy were brought soon after the letters were received.

According to the charges for the incident in April 2019, Stienbarger “contacted the victim by mail in an attempt to communicate with both protected parties.”

Stienbarger was picked up by staff from the New Castle Correctional Facility on Friday. He had just finished his time there. He was put into the Noble County Jail for a short time on the new charges. Later that day, he paid his fee.

Noble County Superior Court II Judge Steve Hagen set Stienbarger’s next court date for August 12 at 9:30 a.m. This was decided at his first meeting on Monday.

The judge, Hagen, said that Stienbarger will be arrested if he doesn’t show up for the meeting.

Court records show that Stienbarger abused his friend’s daughter at his home in the Carriage House Apartments in Kendallville sometime in the first eight months of 2000. He is said to have taken off the child’s clothes, tied her hands and feet to his bed with four pieces of rope, laid on top of her, and sex with her.

Stienbarger told the victim he would kill her if she told anyone, but the victim kicked him when he jumped on top of her.

The child took the threat very seriously and didn’t tell anyone about it until February 2002, when she wrote a letter to the girlfriend of her father. Kendallville Police were told about the crime on February 22, 2002, and Stienbarger was caught in December of that year.

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Based on a report from the Kendallville Police Department, Stienbarger had been arrested twice before for abusing children but was never found guilty.

It was hard for the little girl to keep her secret for two years after the crime, her father’s girlfriend said after the sentence.

The girl’s family went to therapy and kept a closer eye on her after they found out the truth. The family said that her dad lost his job because he wouldn’t leave his daughter alone at home for any length of time.

Reference: KPC News