Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

S-R guard charged with child rape, molestation

60-year-old accused of abusing young girl over 10-year period

Robel (The Spokesman-Review)

The security supervisor for The Spokesman-Review was arrested Friday on four felony charges alleging rape and molestation of a young girl over a period of 10 years.

Robert J. Robel was arrested at 11:20 a.m. while working at the security desk in the lobby of the newspaper by two members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force.

The arrest came after the 60-year-old was formally charged in Spokane County Superior Court with two counts of child rape and two counts of child molestation, said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Edward Hay, supervisor of the county’s Special Assault Unit.

The charges aren’t related to his employment, but he was immediately suspended from his position at the newspaper, said company spokesman Shaun O’L. Higgins.

The alleged crimes occurred between October 1993 and October 2003, according to the charging documents.

Robel has been security supervisor for The Spokesman-Review since March 2002 and has worked at the newspaper since April 1994, Higgins said.

Robel is charged with one count of first-degree child rape and one count of first-degree child molestation for “multiple incidents over a prolonged period of time” involving a victim who was 4 to 11 years old when the alleged crimes occurred, the court documents say.

He also is charged with one count of second-degree child rape and one count of second-degree child molestation for “multiple incidents” involving the same victim when she was 12 and 13. The case was investigated by Spokane police Detective Douglas Orr. After the arrest warrant was issued, members of the fugitive task force, which includes marshals and local police, walked across the street from the U.S. Courthouse to arrest Robel, authorities said.

He was booked into the Spokane County Jail and was being held in lieu of $100,000 bond, the booking roster showed.

He is scheduled to make a Superior Court appearance Monday before Judge Jerome Leveque.