A Williamsburg man is being held in the Whitley County Detention Center in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond for allegedly sending a nude picture of himself to a person who he apparently thought was a teenager but was instead the girl’s mother.
Robin Gobel, 39, of Letha Petrey Road, Williamsburg, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Thursday morning on charges of prohibited use of an electronic communication system to procure a minor person to perform a sex offense, and first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
Williamsburg Police Officer Greg Rhoades arrested Gobel about 1:47 p.m. on Aug. 14 near Exit 15.
According to his arrest citation, on Aug. 12 Gobel allegedly sent text messages to the 15-year-old enticing her to perform sexual activity and send messages to him.
On Aug. 13, Gobel allegedly sent a nude picture of himself to the same 15-year-old knowing the child was underage, the citation stated.
Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said that when Gobel first started contacting the girl, she immediately brought it to her mother’s attention, and the mother then contacted police.
“From there we prompted the mom on how to reply to the text messages. We told her to continue communication. Of course, Gobel thought he was communicating with the 15-year-old, but in all actuality, he was communicating with the mom, who was communicating with us,” Bird noted. “We continued communications until we felt like it escalated to the level that we needed to make charges. It didn’t take long.”
Gobel has been very compliant with police and has given them a full statement about what happened, Bird said.
While he couldn’t go into details about Gobel’s statement to police, Bird noted that Gobel “didn’t deny anything.”
Police have seized both the 15-year-old and Gobel’s phones as evidence in the case.
Bird and Detective Bobby Freeman assisted with the investigation.
District Judge Fred White appointed the public advocate’s office to represent Gobel and scheduled an Aug. 20 preliminary hearing in his case during Thursday’s hearing.
White also ordered that Gobel have no contact with the victim and not go within 500 feet of the victim’s residence. Gobel is also not to have any electronic devices if he is released from custody, according to a court document.