ELKHART — A man recently charged with rape and child molestation for a 25-year-old case had been previously convicted of child molestation, according to court files.
The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s office recently issued a warrant for the arrest of Robert E. Quinn, who has been charged with rape, a Class A felony, child molesting, a Class B felony, and criminal confinement, a Class B felony.
According to a press release from the prosecutor’s office, the charges against Quinn stem from an investigation on the rape and kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl in 1988.
According to the probable cause affidavit for Quinn’s case, on March 6, 1988, prosecutor’s investigator Gary Kenawell, then employed as a detective by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, responded to the report.
The victim told Kenawell that she had fallen asleep while watching TV in her living room the night of March 5, 1988, when a man kicked open the front door and put a coat over her head before dragging her to a car nearby.
The victim said the man took her to a wooded area, where he raped her. He later brought her home and sped away. At the time she was abducted, her parents had gone out for the evening and her brother was already asleep in his bedroom.
The child was taken to the emergency room, where it was discovered she had suffered considerable injuries from the sexual assault.
Several evidence items were entered to the Indiana State Police Laboratories, during the investigation, but no suspect was identified at the time.
In 2011 the victim approached the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department asking for any updates on the case. Kenawell was informed of the victim’s inquiries and worked with the Indiana State Police to collect the materials from the original report, which were re-analyzed. Police found DNA of an “unknown man” in each of the materials, and after issuing a warrant to collect a sample from Quinn, a match was found.
Quinn is currently being held at the New Castle Correctional Facility. He is serving time for a parole violation from a 2005 case in which he was convicted of child molesting.
Quinn has at least two previous convictions for child molesting. He was sentenced in 1993 to 12 years in prison for child molesting. In 2001 he was sentenced to eight years for child molestation again. The parole violation was on his 2001 case. Both of his previous cases were from Elkhart County.
Curtis Hill, Elkhart County prosecutor, said during a press conference held Wednesday, March 6, that the earliest release date for Quinn is June. After serving his sentence he will be transferred to the Elkhart County Jail and await an initial hearing.
“I can’t speak for her in the sense of relief, but I would certainly believe that based upon her desire to get information, that she is really wanting to move forward with justice and get this case behind her,” said Hill during the press conference.