A Troup County Superior Judge has sentenced a former local karate instructor, Robert Louis Young, to 20 years, 12 of which will be served in prison, for four counts of Child Molestation.
Young entered a blind plea, pleading guilty to the four molestation charges. The actual sentence was not negotiated the State agreed to cap to the amount of time Young could serve to 15 years.
District Attorney Pete Skandalakis advised the state agreed to these conditions based on the desires of the family to insure that the victim would not have to testify at trial.
Investigators believe Young molested at least three girls over a period of almost 20 years.
The most recent victim, an undisclosed juvenile female under the age of 16, had been taking karate lessons from Young for a number of years before the August 3 incident.
Evidence presented during the plea proceedings revealed that Young took the victim to his house under the guise of training for a tournament. When they arrived, Young had pornography playing. He later threw the victim on a bed and inappropriately touched the child and tried to engage in sexual activity with the juvenile. The victim then refused Young’s sexual advances and tried to sit up, but when she did so he began fondling himself and forced her hand on his genitals.
After the incident, Young took the victim to Arby’s and told her not to tell her mother, but she immediately went home and told her parents, who reported the incident to LaGrange Police.
The LaGrange Police Department then began an investigation into the incident and later learned Young had been convicted of the Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor when he was 27 years old for having sex with a 16 year old juvenile. The charge was only misdemeanor at the time and Young received probation for the incident.
Investigators also uncovered evidence indicating that Young molested a third victim and former student many years prior to the most recent incident. This female victim was 12 years old at the time of the incidents. She testified that when they were preparing for a tournament, he would pull her behind his vehicle and conduct similar activity.
During the plea proceedings, the juvenile victim told the court how she used to love karate and competing in tournaments and now Young has taken that all that away from her.
Young’s attorney, Jackie Patterson, asked the court to sentence him to 5 years, where only the first 12 months would be served in the Troup County Jail. Assistant District Attorney Drew Case asked for a 40 year sentence where the first 15 years would be served in prison.
In the end, Superior Court Judge Emory Palmer sided somewhere between the two, sentencing Young to 20 years, where the first 12 years would be served in prison.
A charge of Sodomy against Young was dropped by the prosecution to prevent the juvenile victim from having to testify.
In the end, Skandalakis advised he was happy with the outcome considering the circumstances.
“I am pleased with sentence and believe that the Court did a great job of listening to the facts and rendering a just sentence. I commend Detective Andrea Scott with the LaGrange Police Department for the manner in which the case was investigated. And, I am grateful for the manner in which Assistant District Attorney Drew Case pursued justice for the young victim in this case,” said Skadalakis.
Robert Louis Young
Tommy Murphy Staff Writer