MOLESTING in THE KINGDOM HALL
Adelanto man takes molestation plea for weekends in jail
court: The parents of one young victim say they expected harsher sentence.
By SCOTT VANHORNE/Staff Writer
VICTORVILLE — A 20-year-old Adelanto man accused of molesting two young girls accepted a plea bargain allowing him to admit to a misdemeanor charge and serve 210 days in jail on weekends.
Scott Gilman’s sentence, handed down in Victorville Superior Court Friday, infuriated one victim’s family.
“I was thinking he would get three to five years in state prison; no less,” Winford Roberson said.
“It makes me feel like he’s doing a part-time job at his own convenience,” Kim Roberson said.
In 1998 when the couple’s daughter was 3 years old, Gilman reportedly took the girl into a bathroom at the Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Adelanto and molested her in one of the stalls.
Church officials did an internal investigation of the incident and determined nothing had happened. The girl’s parents later reported the molestation to the Adelanto Police Department, according to court records.
Gilman was also accused of molesting a 4-year-old girl in her playhouse.
The District Attorney’s office filed two charges of lewd acts with a child against Gilman in April 1999, and the case dragged on until the defendant pleaded guilty to annoying or molesting a child, a misdemeanor, earlier this year.
The other felony charge was dropped in accordance with the plea bargain.
If Gilman had been convicted on both of the original charges, he would have faced three to 10 years in state prison. Gilman’s attorney, Rollin Rauschl, said his client has maintained his innocence since the beginning of the ordeal.
“Rather than go to trial, my client agreed to take a plea bargain,” Rauschl said. nt><n his wildest dreams, he never thought picking up a child would be child annoyance.”
Rauschl said prosecutors offered the deal because they knew the case against Gilman was weak. Both victims were very young, and the investigation into the allegations didn’t start until more than nine months after the incidents reportedly occurred, he said.
Deputy District Attorney Connie Standley, who handled the case, was not available for comment.
Probation Officer Monica Stidham interviewed Gilman before he was sentenced and recommended that he serve more time in jail than the plea bargain allowed.
“The truth is Mr. Gilman could still be a danger to the community if allowed to do weekends without getting some counseling before he is released to the community,” she wrote. “It is strongly recommended that Mr. Gilman serve 360 straight days in county jail.”
Besides the jail time, Gilman must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, pay the Robersons more than $3,000 in restitution and serve three years supervised probation.
Meanwhile, the Robersons have moved to Los Angeles County. They said they wanted to get away from the High Desert and all the memories it holds. .
and it happened in the building with no windows!