Local News

Garner man had prior indecent liberties conviction

Posted June 30, 2010 5:45 p.m. EDT
Updated July 1, 2010 10:53 a.m. EDT

— A Garner man charged last week with a sex offense against a 14-year-old boy pleaded guilty to similar charges in 1980.

Randy Homer Robertson, 48, was arrested at his place of work, GFI software in Cary, on Friday, Garner Police Sgt. Joe Binns said. He was charged with taking indecent liberties with a child.

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.

Police said a surveillance video camera at Garner United Methodist Church captured Robertson making sexual advances toward a 14-year-old boy on a nearby playground in April.

"We regret very much that this incident happened here," Garner United Methodist Church Rev. Bill Haddock said on Wednesday.

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

"We're going to work with whoever we can to make sure we provide a place where children and youth and their parents know that this is a safe environment," Haddock said.

Rev. Randy Maynard, the pastor at Saint Andrew's, said he encouraged the victim's family to call police.

"We at Saint Andrews United Methodist Church, in consultation with denominational leaders, took immediate and swift action when this allegation occurred," Maynard said in a statement. "At this time, our utmost concern is for the victim and the victim's family as they continue to worship with us. We are encouraging, supporting and assuring the victim through various means of ongoing support. We are relying on Christ to help us, and we will guard against this ever happening again."

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

With Robertson's prior conviction, Wake County prosecutor Melanie Shekita said there is a concern that he may have other victims.

"The question is whether during that 30 years there may have been another victim and we would obviously encourage anyone who has information that may be relevant to contact the Garner Police Department to share that information with them," Shekita said.

Robertson, who was released on a $50,000 bond on Friday, declined comment to WRAL News on Wednesday.