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Accused sex offender, 81, free on bond

Cary Ashby • Sep 2, 2013 at 8:47 PM

An 81-year-old Greenwich man has posted bond in connection with several sex-related charges involving a teenage relative.

Robert E. Shultz, of 11 W. Union St., is charged with three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and one charge of sexual battery. According to court records, the third-degree felonies are in connection with incidents between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31.

Greenwich Police Officer Aaron Smith investigated the case after Richland County Children's Services contacted police in April. According to police, a 15-year-old girl -- a relative of Shultz -- reported having sexual conduct with two men, one of whom is a 76-year-old Ashland County suspect.

"At the time she was 15. She is in Richland County," Smith said Thursday.

"The 76-year-old (suspect) lives in Ashland County, but the incident happened in Richland County," he said. "The Shultz incident happened in Huron County."

The Richland County Sheriff's Office is handling the case involving the Ashland County man.

The victim alleged the sexual abuse occurred multiple times.

"She felt she didn't have a choice. They befriended her and then they preyed on her. They didn't give her a choice. ... I know it's not something she wanted to do," Smith told the Reflector earlier.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler has called the situation "pretty ugly."

"You just don't want to hear grandpa's telling someone to make a pass at his 15-year-old granddaughter. This is pretty bad," Leffler said in July.

After reportedly being abused by Shultz, the girl then was passed to the 76-year-old Nova suspect who is a friend of the family, police said. Also according to the report, the suspects are accused of giving the girl money. Smith, the investigating officer, called it "hush money" for the victim to keep quiet.

The suspected abuse initially occurred with Shultz on multiple occasions, according to police.

"The grandparents said the girl is promiscuous and they take no responsibility at all," Smith said.

As of Thursday, the officer said he's had no further contact with the grandparents and he hasn't been able to confirm what they said about the girl.

"They're not very cooperative," Smith said.

However, the officer said he interviewed Shultz for about 15 minutes before the suspect admitted to the sex offenses.

"We got a confession on that," Smith said.

If convicted, Shultz faces nine months to three years in prison on each felony.

A Huron County grand jury secretly indicted Shultz on Aug. 16. He pleaded "not guilty" to each of the charges Wednesday during his arraignment in Huron County Common Pleas Court.

Shultz was released later from the Huron County Jail after posting a $20,000 bond. Court records indicate the suspect is prohibiting from being around anyone under the age of 18.

The girl has left the area until the case is resolved.

"She doesn't feel safe being here," Smith said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Reflector correspondent Heather Chapin-Fowler contributed to this story.

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