Elderly Santa Barbara Man Convicted of Child Molestation
Source: District Attorney of Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that on March 25, 2019, a Santa Barbara jury found Robert Charles Hawley, age 84, guilty of nine counts of child molestation and sexual assault committed on three family members. The jury also found true the special allegation that the defendant committed sex crimes against multiple victims.
The successful prosecution of this serial pedophile was the result of the actions of a Good Samaritan calling 911 when she observed the defendant engaging in inappropriate touching of a young girl in a local supermarket. The 911 caller saw something odd and decided she should say something, and in so doing provided the authorities with a description of the subjects as well as a license plate of an associated vehicle. Through the diligent work of the initial responders, and the excellent investigation conducted by Detective Megan Harrison of the Santa Barbara Police Department, the defendant was located and arrested. During the course of the investigation, Detective Harrison also uncovered multiple additional women who had been sexually victimized by the defendant. Three of these women testified at his trial.
District Attorney Dudley commends the Good Samaritan for following up on her intuition, and comments that, “The victims and their families showed great courage in testifying and confronting their abuser, therefore holding him accountable for these horrendous acts of molestation and sexual abuse.” District Attorney Dudley also expressed her appreciation to Senior Deputy District Attorney Ben Ladinig, as well as his co-counsel Lena Alker by stating, “Cases like this are extraordinarily complex because of all the family dynamics, the law, and the age of the defendant. This successful prosecution was possible because of the extraordinary prosecutors and other members of this office who work tirelessly to ensure that justice was served.”
Robert Charles Hawley is scheduled to be sentenced by the Honorable Judge Brian Hill on May 29, 2019 in Department 2 of the Santa Barbara Superior Court. He is facing 138 years to life in prison.