Ex-Chaplain Goes to Prison
By Julie Wallace
The Beacon Journal
July 11, 2006
Medina - Leonard Robertson's double life caught up with him late last year.
To the public, he was a God-fearing Christian -- the leader of a small church in Medina who also served as the volunteer chaplain for the Medina Police Department and a man who gave homes to children without homes, sometimes adopting and fostering as many as 16 children at a time.
But Robertson was far different away from the public eye, police and prosecutors say.
On Monday, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing four children whom he cared for over the years.
Robertson, 46, of Ryan Road, Medina, pleaded guilty in May to the 57 criminal charges filed against him -- 54 counts of sexual battery, a single count of gross sexual imposition and two counts of attempted gross sexual imposition.
In exchange for sparing the victims the need to testify at a trial, prosecutors agreed not to seek more than a 15-year sentence.
Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman scoffed at a request by Robertson's attorney, Jay Milano, for a sentence of five to 10 years.
"He deserves to be punished, and he deserves to be punished severely," Holman said, adding: "This case was a nightmare that these children lived for years."
Robertson was terminated from the police chaplain's post once the allegations surfaced. At that time, he also was serving as pastor of Prepare the Way Community Church.
Robertson was labeled a sexual predator, the most stringent designation under Ohio law; it requires the most monitoring upon his release from prison. He blamed his actions on abuse by his father, and told Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Collier that he knows now that he needs help for his problems.
"I do need help. I want help. I struggle with whether I always knew it," Robertson said. "Given the chance, I know I would do the right thing."
But Collier said that the Robertson standing before him and pleading for mercy was not the same man who spoke to a probation officer as part of a presentence investigation. During that interview, Robertson denied that many of the crimes took place, and for the others, he blamed the victim -- saying she instigated the misconduct and he was helpless to stop her.
"I don't know who I am sentencing," Collier said.
Julie Wallace can be reached at 330-996-3542 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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