Crime

Township supervisor acquitted of 80 sex charge counts

A Bigler Township supervisor accused of sexually assaulting a girl was acquitted Thursday after a four-day trial in Clearfield County Court.

Robert Philbert Myers, 36, of Houtzdale, was facing 20 counts each of rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault. A jury of eight women and four men took approximately two hours to find him not guilty of all charges.

Myers and the child both cried after the verdicts were announced.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Myers was accused of assaulting the childbeginning when she was 12 or 13, and continuing for three years. She told police that Myers made her have sex with him in a Madera residence and in his tractor trailer with a sleeper cab. She provided the investigating officers with significant detail on the activities. She said he told her not to tell anyone and claimed she would get in more trouble than he would.

The evidence in the case included Facebook messages between Myers and the child, including “It’s not rape. It’s love.” The defense also submitted favorable Facebook posts about Myers from the victim.

Clearfield County District Attorney Bill Shaw, in an interview after the verdicts were announced, said he will continue to pursue cases like this because “otherwise kids don’t have a chance.”

He said he didn’t want children and their families to be discouraged by this outcome, and encouraged people to report any child abuse.

“We will believe you,” he said.

In this case, he thought it was fair to pursue the charges because he had the Facebook messages to support her allegations.

“Even though we disagree with the verdict, we support the jury system,” Shaw said.

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