Lincoln man pleads guilty to sex crimes
Lincoln County Jailer David Gooch leads Timothy Robinson back to jail Tuesday. (Todd Kleffman photo / February 5, 2013)
Timothy Robinson of Kings Mountain pleaded guilty to one count of incest and one count of use of a minor in a sexual performance. Lincoln Circuit Judge David Tapp will formally sentence Robinson, 35, on April 12.
Standing before Tapp, Robinson admitted that he had anal sex with a 15-year-old girl and also that his younger children were made to watch sexual acts between him and the girl.
“Are you pleading guilty because you are guilty?” Tapp asked Robinson, who replied, “Yes.”
Robinson’s guilty plea came after Tapp rejected an Alford plea that Robinson’s attorney, Cabel Francis II, had negotiated with Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeremy Bartley on Friday without the judge’s knowledge. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict the defendant at trial.
“I’m not taking an Alford plea,” Tapp fumed, giving the attorneys “a short period” to work out a straight guilty plea or prepare for trial. “I can have a jury in here tomorrow morning.”
Twenty minutes later, Robinson dropped the Alford plea.
If Tapp sentences Robinson to 20 years as recommended, he would have to serve 101⁄2 years before being eligible for a parole hearing.
Robinson initially was charged with four counts of incest, four counts of unlawful transaction with a minor and one count of use of a minor in a sexual performance.
His wife, Rhonda Robinson, faces complicity charges on those nine counts.
“We believe his wife was aware of the situation and failed to take action to protect her children,” Bartley said.
Rhonda Robinson is scheduled for a pretrial conference on Friday, where a trial date likely will be set if she does not take a plea offer, Bartley said, declining to discuss any deals that might be on the table.
Timothy Robinson is not the first in his family to be guilty of sex crimes involving minor children.
In 2005, his older brother, Clarence V. Robinson, was convicted in Lincoln Circuit Court of first-degree rape of a 12-year-old girl and three counts of second-degree rape involving the same child. Clarence Robinson is serving a 50-year prison sentence.
According to court records in that case, Clarence Robinson impregnated the girl, the daughter of his live-in girlfriend, the first time when she was 13 and two other times before she turned 16.
When the girl was 15, Robinson took her to Tennessee and falsified her birth certificate to show she was 16, the legal age of marriage in that state, and the two were married.
He continued to have sex with her until she reported the incidents to social workers after they had taken her children away, according to court records.