Landlord accused of fondling teen

Monday, January 13, 2020

A Poplar Bluff landlord may again face sexual misconduct charges after he allegedly fondled a woman inside an apartment he had available for rent.

On Friday afternoon, a 19-year-old Poplar Bluff woman contacted Ray Allan Robertson about renting an apartment in the 500 block of Lester Street from him, according to Poplar Bluff Police Patrolman Chris Ridens’ report.

While inside the apartment, Ridens said, the woman alleged Robertson followed her into the bathroom, which she stated felt “‘alarming’ and ‘weird’ due to them being so close.”

When the woman turned around, “Ray grabbed her and hugged her and was asking her how she had been,” Ridens said. “She stepped back and told him she had been good and backed away from his grasp.”

As the woman attempted to leave the bathroom a second time, the woman told Ridens, Robertson allegedly grabbed her and hugged her again.

“This time as he hugged her, he lifted her shirt up from the back and exposed her bare skin telling her she ‘was warm.’”

Ridens said the woman further reported she again attempted to get away from Robertson, but she was unable to do so.

“Ray then began ‘fondling’ her breast, as well as squeezing them,” Ridens said. “While Ray was doing this, he would tell her how ‘nice’ they felt.

“After fondling her breast, Ray began to grab her buttocks.”

As the woman attempted to push past Robertson, she alleged he kept saying, “‘Let me see your boobs’” as he tried to raise the front of her shirt.

Ridens said the woman reported she “aggressively backed away” and was able to get into the living room, where she alleged Robertson followed her.

Robertson, the woman further alleged, “grabbed her again and hugged her and began kissing her head.”

Ridens said the woman further reported Robertson continued grabbing her, all the while she continued to repeatedly tell him “‘no’ and ‘this isn’t OK.’”

The woman, Ridens said, reported she attempted to “excuse herself” by saying she needed to leave, but “he continued to pat her breasts and squeeze her butt.”

Ridens said the woman reported she ran out the door and drove directly to the police department after Robertson went to shut off the breaker box to the apartment.

Robertson, 84, of the 1400 block of Rosedale was contacted at his apartments in the 600 block of Kinzer on Saturday afternoon.

Ridens said he was taken to the police department, where he was told of his rights, including his right to an attorney. Robertson reportedly invoked his right to counsel.

Robertson was arrested at 2:15 p.m. on suspicion of second-degree sexual assault and third-degree kidnapping. He was booked at the Butler County jail and later released.

Robertson reportedly has been accused and charged multiple times with offenses, such as sexual misconduct, sexual abuse and stalking between 2004 and 2017.

Robertson pleaded guilty in 2005 to misdemeanor assault after originally being charged with the misdemeanors of patronizing prostitution and first-degree sexual misconduct. With his plea, he was placed on probation at that time.

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