Jurors return guilty verdict for Osgood man in sexual misconduct case

Wanda English Burnett


It took a Ripley County Circuit Court jury less than two hours to decide the verdict in the Robert A. Thomas case last week.

Thomas, 34, of Osgood,(formerly of Jefferson County) had been charged with Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, a Class B Felony, and jurors found him guilty on those charges after they heard the evidence presented.

According to Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ryan King, the thorough work of the investigating office, John Hegge, was key to getting a conviction. “He did an outstanding job,” King told The Versailles Republican.

The child (under 16 years of age) testified that in April of 2009 she had sexual intercourse with Thomas on at least six occasions. This was after Thomas had only been living in the victim’s household for three weeks.

The victim’s father had allowed Thomas, who was a family friend at the time, to stay at their home after getting out of prison on other charges. During the trial the father said allowing the defendant to stay in his home was the “biggest mistake of my life.”

Officer Hegge, who was with the Osgood Police Department at the time of the incident, testified that during his investigation he collected evidence from the crime scene and conducted an interview of Thomas. The interview was played for the jurors where they would hear Thomas explain that he had sexual contact with the victim, but there was “only 15 to 30 seconds of penetration.”

A DNA analyst testified that the child’s DNA was found in Thomas’ underwear.

King noted, “Officer Hegge’s investigation and subsequent interview of Mr. Thomas provided the jury with the evidence they needed to reach a guilty verdict.”

Circuit Court Judge Carl Taul remanded Thomas to the custody of the Ripley County Jail because Thomas is on probation from a prior felony conviction - forgery in Dearborn County.

Sentencing for Thomas has been set for December 17 where he could face up to 20 years in prison.