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Garner man pleads guilty to fondling 14-year-old boy

Posted December 13, 2010

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— A Garner man pleaded guilty Monday to one count of taking indecent liberties with a minor and will be required to serve jail time and get treatment in a state sex offender program.

Randy Homer Robertson, 48, was arrested at his work, GFI software in Cary, on June 25 after he was accused of grabbing a 14-year-old boy's genitals near a church playground.

Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand sentenced Robertson to 19 to 23 months in prison, which was suspended to 15 weekends in the Wake County jail and 60 months of supervised probation.

Robertson must also register as a sex offender, complete a sex offender control program, have no contact with the boy or his family and the churches involved, not be around another minor without an adult present and undergo satellite-based monitoring for the rest of his life.

"I am not the same person I was six months ago," Robertson told the judge. "I have made new friends. I have a new job. I have a girlfriend now. In the past six months, I have really turned my life around.

"I am remorsefully sorry for all that has happened and for all the individuals I have hurt," he said.

During much of the court hearing Monday, Robertson appeared to be making an obscene gesture at prosecutors and the media, which made the boy's mother question the sincerity of his apology.

"It's hard for me to believe that again, but again, I'm having a lot of pain, a lot of anger. I don't know. We'll see," Allyson Lyon said.

Police said a surveillance video camera at Garner United Methodist Church captured Robertson making sexual advances toward the boy on a nearby playground in April.

Robertson asked the boy how many push-ups he could do, then tickled the boy and grabbed his genitals, according to Wake County Assistant District Attorney Melanie Shekita.

Robertson and the boy were visiting from Saint Andrews United Methodist Church. The two churches were collaborating on a project to help the homeless.

After the incident, Robertson, who had been a member at Saint Andrews United Methodist Church since 1995, was asked to leave the congregation.

Randy Robertson in court Garner man pleads guilty to fondling 14-year-old boy

In October, he agreed to plead guilty to one count of indecent liberties with a minor, but Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood rejected the plea, implying that the punishment was not severe enough for the crime.

Lyon told WRAL News that there had been allegations circulating around the church that Robertson was someone to watch around children.

"There have been other families in the past 10 years that have dealt with this with him. Not just our family, we're the only ones who have come forward and pressed charges," she said.

In 1980, Robertson pleaded guilty to two counts of the same charge for offenses against two boys, a search of Department of Correction records shows.

Robertson wasn't listed on the sex offender registry because his early crimes occurred prior to its creation.

Shekita said Saint Andrews United Methodist Church was aware of Robertson's prior convictions and, after hearing concerns from members, decided that he could no longer be in contact with children there.

Saint Andrews Pastor Randy Maynard said congregation members have completed extensive training to ensure the church is a safe place to worship. He said the church will also be following the standards of the United Methodist Church Volunteer process, which includes background checks.


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  • Justin T. Dec 15, 2010

    "pj - and then he gave the finger to the court - you really think he's reformed?" --He was just showing everyone what he's going to do to the next young boy.

  • wildcat Dec 14, 2010

    65 years in prison!

  • JAT Dec 14, 2010

    pj - and then he gave the finger to the court - you really think he's reformed?

  • JAT Dec 14, 2010

    I hope everyone who defended this guy reads Amanda Lamb's commentary about his actions in the courtroom.

  • tran Dec 14, 2010

    I have to wonder whether the judge gave this repeat offender a light sentence just to rile people so they will support even more draconian tactics in the future.

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Dec 14, 2010

    zProt -- Obviously all of us make mistakes in life, but nothing amounts to pedophiles, rapists and murderers. Don't try to put our white lies or bad decisions in life on the same level as them. I guess in your book everybody should be excused for their sick thoughts because apparently we are all guilty of some form of it? WRONG. I don't know who you are, but trying to equate pedophiles to a normal person who makes average mistakes in life must be your comfort at night. Perhaps a way for you to justify the sick thoughts you personally have?

    I now have a resolution to spending the tax payers money to confine these monsters. We should just set them up in homes with people like zProt and pjedwards who feel no threat or find anything wrong with them. Shoot, to save money they can bunk up in the same room with your kids. Although when little Johnny wakes up crying, I'm sure it will not be because of the monster hiding in his closet; he'll be sleeping right above him. :)

  • zProt Dec 14, 2010

    Your weakness for chocolate? C'mon now. Is that what you really think I meant? I'm talking about the people YOU have wronged and the horrible things YOU have done to people. Spit it out. Tell the truth, o' perfekt one. We are ALL as guilty as that man, and no, I'm not talking about pedophilia. Use yer brain.

  • jondzemo Dec 14, 2010

    AMEN deutschgirl! I have the same thoughts. What parent would ever in there right mind take their children around a pedophile? Sorry but he will never be able to reform. He has proven that he is a repeat offender and we as a responsible public need to protect the innocent against men like him!
    You sit up on your high horse saying we have done him wrong, you say he has done his time. But you forget the victim! What did the victim ever do to deserve to be molested? You forget It was this prevert that committed a unforgivable crime against a child!
    As for your own children how could you ever look one of them in the eye if he ever did anything to them? What kind of parent puts there child into a situation where they could be hurt or scared for life?
    I could not imagine as a family member what could be a harder pill to swallow than to have a pedophile in the family. But their comes a time when you got to cut strings and say wow you crossed the line and say goodbye.

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Dec 14, 2010

    pj -- I find it odd that after he has admitted guilt freely in both 1980 and this year to fondling young boys, that you still see him as no threat. Do you just simply choose to look the other way? I have no idea how you can sit there and pathetically think that just because he is nice and seems pleasant around your family, that there aren't sick thoughts going through his mind at the same time. I seriously am worried about your children, because it seems like you don't really think twice about who you subject them to. And why dont you look in the mirror you relgious nut -- you are casting judgement on us for judging him. At least practice what you preach when you're trying to defend a disgusting pedophile. You might see us as "unfit to sit on any bench in the country", but you are unfit to be a parent! You need your head examined and quickly!

  • shortcake53 Dec 14, 2010

    pj, I have no doubt that during family functions this man was the poster child for manners and grace. Its AWAY from the family that he can turn into a total monster and do unspeakable things to children. Many serial killers were discribled as "the nicest man" by neighbors and family members. You have NO way of knowing his true self or what he is capable of. Sorry, but its true.