A Nancy man, who took a 12-year-old girl out of school in Somerset Monday triggering a statewide Amber Alert before being caught in Whitley County, has been charged with rape.
Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputies have charged Robby Lee Lovins, 31, of 475 Myers Road, with second-degree rape.
Information gleaned from the probe into the girl’s disappearance revealed that Lovins was having a sexual relationship with her, according to a press release from Pulaski County Sheriff Todd Wood.
“Investigators with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and Somerset Police Department interviewed both the victim and suspect Lovins and were able to document incidents where the two were involved in a consensual sexual relationship,” Wood wrote.
Detectives have also been in contact with the sheriff’s department in Campbell County, Tenn., where the pair traveled during Monday’s Amber Alert.
Lovins checked Dina Alkhateeb out from Northern Middle School about 8:45 a.m. Monday.
It is normally the policy of the News Journal not to identify sexual assault victims. However, due to the massive statewide publicity surrounding Monday’s Amber Alert that has already resulted in the victim’s name and picture being plastered across television stations and newspapers across the commonwealth, it is the position of the news staff that leaving the victim’s identity out of this story would be a moot point since it is already widely known.
Lovins was one of the people on a list, who was allowed to check the girl out of school. The list was approved by the girl’s mother, whose name has not been released.
The mother called the school about an hour later to take Lovins name off the list, and learned that he had already checked her out.
Somerset Police issued a statewide Amber Alert, and after receiving information from an informant, a detective contacted Lovins by phone, and negotiated a surrender with him 25 minutes later.
Lovins was driving on I-75 back toward Somerset when he was pulled over by a Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Capt. Todd Shelley said he learned about the alert from Kentucky State Police Troopers Mike Witt and Scott Bunch shortly before 3 p.m.
Witt and Bunch stationed themselves on I-75 near Exit 15 to watch for the vehicle.
Shelley said he started driving south when he spotted Lovins’ Oldsmobile Cutlass going north near the 10-mile marker.
Shelley was able to pull Lovins over near the 14 and a half mile marker about 3:01 p.m.
Witt and Bunch responded to the scene to assist as did Williamsburg City police officers and additional sheriff’s deputies.
Shelley said Lovins offered no resistance as police took him into custody, and that the girl appeared fine under the circumstances.
“He was cooperative. He didn’t say a word at all,” Shelley noted.
Shelley said no local charges were filed. Lovins was transferred back to Pulaski County where he was initially charged with custodial interference before Somerset police contacted Pulaski Sheriff’s deputies to share information from the investigation, which led to the rape charges being filed.
Wood said the results of the investigation would be presented to the Pulaski County Grand Jury, and that additional charges are expected.
Wood commended all the agencies that assisted in the investigation.
“This is a great example of how the Amber Alert and interagency assistance works for the betterment of our communities,” Wood added. “We appreciate the professionalism of Chief David Biggerstaff and the entire Somerset Police Department.”
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