Man charged with 1988 rape has initial court hearing

A man charged with rape, child molesting and criminal confinement will appear in court Thursday, June 20.
Posted on June 19, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on June 19, 2013 at 6:48 p.m.

ELKHART — A man charged with multiple counts in a 25-year-old case will appear for his initial hearing in Superior Court 3 Thursday, June 20. Robert Quinn, 50, is charged with rape, a Class A felony; child molestation, a Class B felony; and criminal confinement, a Class B felony. He faces up to 90 years in prison if he is convicted on all three charges.

Quinn was transferred from the New Castle Correctional Facility to the Elkhart County Jail Tuesday evening. He was serving time in New Castle for a parole violation from a 2005 case in which he was convicted of child molesting.

Quinn’s expected release date from prison was June 22 this year, but the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office filed the new charges against him in March, after re-initiating an investigation on the old case.

On March 6, 1988, police were called to a home on the west side of Elkhart where they learned from the victim, then 10 years of age, that she had been kidnapped and raped the night before. The victim said she had fallen asleep while watching TV in the living room — her parents had gone out for the night and her brother was upstairs sleeping — when a man kicked open the front door and dragged her to a car nearby.

The man took the victim to a wooded area, raped her, and brought her back to her house, threatening to kill her if she told anyone what happened.

Police collected several items with DNA samples and sent them to the Indiana State Police laboratories.

In 2011, the victim contacted the sheriff’s department, asking if they had any updates on her case. The items that were collected as evidence were re-examined and the DNA samples were entered into a system that compares the samples with those of previous convicted felons. After finding an approximate match, a warrant was issued to collect a new DNA sample from Quinn. In comparing the two samples, police found a definite match, prompting the prosecutor’s office to file formal charges.

Quinn has been previously convicted of child molesting twice in Elkhart County. He was sentenced in 1993 to 12 years in prison for child molesting, and in 2001 he was sentenced to eight years on a separate child molesting case.

Quinn’s hearing Thursday is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Elkhart County Jail.

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