Local News

Wake 4-H volunteer faces child sex crimes charges

Posted March 22, 2012

— A Wake County 4-H volunteer has been charged with fondling three boys at a motel outside of Raleigh last fall when parents thought the youths were on a camping trip, authorities said Thursday.

Robert Wesley Steinruck, 39, of 601 Pony Road, Apt. 26, in Zebulon, is charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a child, four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two counts of disseminating obscene material to a minor under 16. He was being held Thursday in the Wake County jail under a $75,000 bond.

Wake County prosecutors said Steinruck took three boys, ages 14, 13 and 11, and a girl to a Comfort Suites hotel off New Bern Avenue east of Raleigh last September, where he plied them with alcohol and perhaps marijuana and showed them pornography.

The three boys were touched inappropriately in the hotel room, prosecutors said.

One mother said she thought the youths were going on an overnight trip to camp and ride horses with Steinruck. She said he used fear and intimidation to keep the youths from telling anyone about the incident for months.

Comfort Suites Man accused of taking youths to hotel instead of campout

Steinruck was arrested March 6 on Oak Island.

Officials with the Wake County 4-H said Steinruck passed a standard background check before becoming a volunteer, and that he was immediately suspended from 4-H when the allegations against him came to light.

Investigators said they fear other people might have been molested as well, and they urged anyone who might have had improper contact with Steinruck to come forward.


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  • Card Player Mar 23, 2012

    I would never consider my kids going overnight with one adult that wasn't family. What were these parents thinking? When my kids want to camp, I take them or at least go along.

    I hate to blame the victim's parents here but they made a huge mistake that could cost these children torment for the rest of their lives. Shame on them. (They probably had a ball with their free night off)

  • ConcernedNCC Mar 23, 2012

    Like I've said many times, if a man volunteers to work with children in his spare time, without having any of his own children participating in the activities, the parents need to be suspicious of his intentions. It's not 100%, but it sure is high odds that something inapropriate is going on or will eventually go on.

  • mrsox05 Mar 23, 2012

    $75K??? Really? That's it? WOW....

  • nashe1127 Mar 23, 2012

    Just curious, why no kidnapping charge? I know he had permission to take them, but he took them someplace else with intent to do harm.

  • piene2 Mar 23, 2012

    "That's not the police photo from today. The caption says it's from 1997.

    Why should a little thing like that prevent the making of inane comments?

  • Red Green Mar 23, 2012

    "Thank you modern liberalism!" - Timexliving

    Wow. That’s quite a break down you offer us. Although there was a brief period of the sexual liberation that you speak of, most of these inhibitions disappeared shortly after. It could be considered as nothing more than a fad so your theory has no relevance to this story. I think we can write it off as nothing more than an irresponsible political tirade much as one would expect to here from Rush Limbaugh.

  • love2dostuff Mar 22, 2012

    "Yes, Thank you modern liberalism."

    Yes, I'm sure all these crimes are because of liberals flaunting their evil ways. Grow up. Please.

  • SunnyDays Mar 22, 2012

    First working and volunteering are two different things, volunteers do not get paid. This just makes me sick on my stomach. I would think that the parents had to sign a consent saying they could go on the overnight trip. But, please do not let this "person" let you judge the 4-H program, it is wonderful and has great leaders, for some reason he this volunteer slipped through the cracks, the 4-H agents are part of the NC Cooperative Extension Service which is a division of NCSU and they do have some wonderful volunteers.

  • ncgayatheist Mar 22, 2012

    In twenty years time deviancy will be defined downward again until even this is now considered the norm. Thank you modern liberalism! timexliving

    Yes, Thank You modern liberalism!

  • shortcake53 Mar 22, 2012

    My child will never go on an outing overnight with anyone but us, never. Seems no one can be trusted.