Sex offender sent to slammer

Cary Ashby • Apr 10, 2013 at 9:16 AM

A sex offender who violated his parole pleaded guilty Tuesday to a local drug charge.

Robert W. Stewart, 24, of 1615 Ohio 18, came into the Huron County Courthouse late for his hearing. As he entered the main courtroom, he extended his wrists to Huron County Sheriff's Special Deputy Todd Temple and said, "I'm getting arrested today."

The courthouse security officer placed Stewart, who was out on a $10,000 bond, in handcuffs.

Stewart pleaded guilty to permitting drug abuse at Tuesday's hearing.

The Norwalk Police Department investigated tips about people selling and using heroin on East Harkness Street, which was referred to as a "heroin house" at the time. Officers obtained a warrant from Norwalk Municipal Court Judge John Ridge and used it during a Dec. 3 raid.

"Police had intelligence it was a drug house," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said.

Stewart was one of several people arrested at the time. Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton has said the suspects, whom he called "all known heroin addicts," were traveling to Cleveland to buy the drug.

Since then, the old residents at that house have moved out and new tennants have moved in.

Judge Jim Conway followed the joint recommendation of Woodruff and defense attorney Jim Sitterly Jr. by sentencing the defendant to one year in prison -- six months each for the drug charge and the related post-release control violation. Stewart could have faced up to 588 days, or almost 20 months, on the parole violation.

In 2007, Stewart was convicted of one count each of gross sexual imposition and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material through Ross County. He was sentenced to two years in prison, according to the sheriff's office.

Classified as a sexually-oriented offender, Stewart had to register his address for 10 years.

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