CLINTON — A Clinton man has been found guilty of four counts of sex abuse in connection with a teenager’s claims that she was sexually attacked in Clinton’s Eagle Point Park in August 2005 by the man and his younger brother.

Robert Armstrong, 43, faces up to 70 years in prison as the result of the guilty verdicts that came in shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday following 3 1/2 hours of jury deliberation over Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

After hearing three days of testimony that included the defendant and his accuser, the 12-member jury unanimously agreed Armstrong is guilty of two counts each of second-degree sex abuse and third-degree sex abuse. He will be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 4 in Clinton County District Court.

Each second-degree sex abuse charge carries a mandatory 25-year sentence of which he must serve a minimum of 70 percent — 17 1/2 years. He will face up to 10 years in prison on each of the third-degree sex abuse charges. It will be up to a judge to decide if the sentences will be served concurrently or consecutively.

To find him guilty on both counts of the second-degree charges, jurors had to agree evidence supported claims that Armstrong forced a sex act upon his victim against her will and that he aided and abetted another attacker, in this case his brother, Michael, as he did the same.

To be found guilty on the third-degree sex abuse charges, jurors had to conclude Robert committed a sex act with someone who was 14 or 15 at the time, that he was at least four years older than the victim and that he aided and abetted someone else to do the same.

The girl, who was 15 years old at the time of the incident and is now 17, testified she met up with Robert and his brother as she was in a hurry to get home in the late afternoon of Aug. 7, 2005.

She said she was near Hass Food Market in the 100 block of South Second Street when the brothers agreed to give her a ride to her home six blocks away. She said on the witness stand that she barely knew one of the brothers and the other one she did not know at all.

She said the men drove her directly to Eagle Point Park in Clinton, stopping the car in view of the castle. They gave her beer and told her she could not go home until she completed a sex act with Robert. She said a chair was placed by the car and Robert leaned against her. The chair then tipped over.

She says she tried to run away and ran into the woods yelling for help. She has said she was dragged by the brothers, ended up on the ground and was pinned down by them. She said she was raped by Michael in the woods.

She said she left the park on foot and when she reached First Avenue and Third Street, she saw a van belonging to a man who had her baby-sit children in his care many times. They got into his van and she told him what happened. He drove her the three blocks to her home and the police were called. An ambulance was summoned to the scene and she was examined at the hospital.

Evidence collected at the scene included a torn condom, two condom wrappers, the teen’s underwear, beer cans and two different cigarette packages consistent with the brand of cigarettes the men smoke. A later search of the area produced a used condom, a condom box, an empty 18-pack carton of Busch Light and empty beer cans.

On Tuesday, DCI Criminalist Erica Ng told the court DNA tests link Michael Armstrong to the crime; those tests included analyzing swabs taken at Mercy North Hospital the night of Aug. 7, 2005, and sent to the DCI. Tests on the girl’s underwear also showed Michael Armstrong’s DNA was on them. None of the evidence contained DNA belonging to Robert Armstrong.

Robert Armstrong testified he was with Michael and the girl in Eagle Point Park that day but did not touch the girl, did not see the two having sex and didn’t know anything about it. He claimed he dropped the girl off at her home that evening.

Michael, now 40, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of sex abuse for his involvement. He was sentenced last week to up to 15 years in prison — a sentence that includes a 10-year prison term and a five-year term that will be served consecutively.

The case was prosecuted by First Assistant Clinton County Attorney Ross Barlow. Armstrong was defended by attorney Jay Sommers.



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