News and Tribune

Clark County

January 17, 2013

Henryville man takes plea in child-sex abuse case

Robert W. Baumann, 32, sentenced to 10 years in jail

JEFFERSONVILLE — A Henryville man charged with four felonies related to sexual child abuse accepted a plea earlier this week in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1.

Robert W. Baumann, 32, who had been charged in the abuse of an 8-year-old family member in 2011 was sentenced Monday to 20 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, with a 10-year suspended probation term.

The sentence will likely result in Baumann spending 5 years in prison, then 10 years on probation.

Baumann, per the plea, was found guilty of one count child molesting, a class B felony.

His additional charges of B felony child molesting, D felony display of matter harmful to minor and D felony obstruction of justice were dismissed by the court.

According to court records, the probation outlines that Baumann is to have no contact with the victim, directly or indirectly, but he is allowed contact with his daughter and step-daughter, but only while accompanied by another adult.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Department began investigating the allegations in November 2011, after a girl reported being molested a month or two earlier, according to a probable cause affidavit. That child brought the allegations to surface after the child’s mother noticed she had been acting strangely.

According to the report, the girl said Baumann showed her a pornographic video on his iPhone when she and her brother went to his house. She said he would pause the movie and explain what the actors were doing to teach her about sex.

She also said that he had taken her into his bedroom and showed what the girl called a “pirate dirty movie.” She described being instructed to perform oral sex after he had masturbated in front of her.

Baumann’s attorney, Patrick Renn, had previously stated that the state has a very weak case, that Baumann maintained his innocence and looked forward to challenging the evidence against him in trial.

Detectives had spoken with Baumann’s ex-girlfriend, who was in possession of the pornographic “pirate” film, during their investigation.

The ex-girlfriend told police that Baumann came home from work one day and said he wanted to separate because he is a bad person and has issues she does not know about.

Baumann reportedly saw the ex-girlfriend at another time and gave her a bag containing two films, asking her to hang onto them. One of the films was a pornographic movie involving pirates. The woman said the 8-year-old girl knew details of the movie that she would only have known by watching it.

Following an initial hearing in January 2012, Baumann was released on $40,000 court cash, or $4,000 cash. In November, the state offered the plea.

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