The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

April 26, 2014

Grapeland man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child


A Grapeland man arrested in 2012 for sexual assault of a then 16-year-old female was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child in a Tyler court on Wednesday.

Robbie Lynn Newby, who was 44 at the time, was arrested around 9:30 p.m. June 19, 2012 by Anderson County sheriff’s deputies during the course of a traffic stop on CR 1772 near his residence southeast of Elkhart in extreme southern Anderson County, according to Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor.

At the time of his 2012 arrest, Newby was an ex-convict on parole after serving time for possession of marijuana between 4 ounces and 5 pounds, according to the sheriff.

The 2012 charge, Taylor said, involved Newby having sexual relations with a girl numerous times who was 17 at the time of Newby's arrest, but was 16 at the time the relationship began. The age of consent in Texas is 17.

The alleged victim and her two sisters — ages 10 and 13 — had been living with Newby for some period of time, according to the sheriff.

“The child’s mom was in prison and the children were staying with him,” Taylor said. “He was coercing her into having sex with him since February of 2012 through intimidation.”

The victim made an outcry just days earlier, with authorities beginning their investigation on June 16, 2012, and obtaining the warrant for Newby's arrest on June 18, 2012.

During the course of the investigation, the ACSO turned the case over to federal investigators.

Newby was indicted by a federal Grand Jury for sexual exploitation of a child on April 17, 2013; he pled guilty to the charge on Jan. 9, 2014 and was sentenced in the Federal Court in Tyler on Wednesday, with Judge Leonard Davis presiding.

“The federal sentences are more strict — they don't really have parole,” Taylor said. “He will have to serve at least 85 percent (24 years) of that time before he could become eligible for any kind of early release.

“It is good to see the man given a healthy sentence,” the sheriff added. “He was a predator and a violent man. It is good to see him go to prison where he belongs.”

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