A Hamilton man who admitted to having sex with a pool raft in public will spend 11 months behind bars.
On Tuesday, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater sentenced Edwin Tobergta, 32, of Harmon Avenue, after he pleaded guilty to public indecency, a fifth-degree felony. Tobergta has been convicted three times before for the same offense.
Tobergta’s defense attorney, Ramona Daniels, argued that, instead of prison time, her client should be enrolled in a sex offender program for people with developmental disabilities. “It’s a low-level and non-violent offense,” Daniels said. “It’s a new program, only one of two certified program through the state of Ohio. It’s meant to treat people specifically who have developmental disabilities.”
Before he was sentenced, Tobergta begged Pater not to send him to prison.
“I do want to apologize for my actions,” Tobergta said. ” I’m sorry. I do deal with mental issues and if court would give me this chance for this program, sir, I would give it 100 percent. I’m ready to get my life together and quit all this nonsense.”
In September, Pater ruled that Tobergta was competent to stand trial.
Pater said he encourages Tobergta to take advantage of new sex offender program once he’s released.
“But I’m not going to put you in that program instead of prison,” Pater said. “People snicker about it and laugh about it and all that sort of thing, but it is a criminal behavior, not really something to be laughed at. This is about lewd, obscene behavior in the presence of little children. That’s something society’s not going to tolerate.”
Tobergta will also have to pay court costs and, at discretion of the parole authority, may get three years probation.
Tobergta was arrested for stepping out his back door naked at about 1:20 p.m. June 15 and having “sexual relations with a rubber pool float,” according to a Hamilton police report.
Theresa Teague’s 10-year-old daughter was enjoying her new swimming pool June 15 when she ran back inside her house and said, “Edwin was doing something weird out there,” the Hamilton resident told the Journal-News.
Tobergta was engaging in a sex act with an orange inflatable toy that Teague said a neighbor had put out for the trash.
Megan Lefevers, of Howell Avenue, said her 7- and 8-year-old daughters were playing with Teague’s daughter that day and also saw the sex act. She believes his punishment is not harsh enough. “Don’t think it’s fair. … He needs help and needs to be registered as as sex offender or something, and locked up for what he’s done. It’s not right he does it in front of children. What happens when he does it to a child?” said Lefevers. “What happens when he gets sick of plastic and pumpkins and whatever, and he snatches one of not only my children but somebody else’s kid in the neighborhood.”
In August 2011, he was arrested at his home after he was seen engaging in sexual conduct with a pink inflatable swimming pool raft, according to police records.
The incident allegedly occurred in an alley behind his home. The witness, who was the owner of the raft, reported to police that the suspect took the raft with him after being shouted at to stop, according to records.
After the 2011 arrest, police said Tobergta admitted to the act and told officers that he has a problem and needs help.
Following a 2008 conviction for felony public indecency, Tobergta was sentenced to five years of community control.
In that incident, officers responded to a home for a report of a naked man standing in a neighbor’s yard and engaging in sexual activity, according to records.
By Lot Tan - Hamilton JournalNews, Ohio (MCT) Staff Reporter Lauren Pack contributed to this story.
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