Alleged molester could face additional charges (9/24/09)

Sept. 24, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

More charges could be coming for the Williston resident accused of drugging and molesting a 13-year-old girl.

Robert Kolibas, 50, allegedly drugged the girl, a friend of his daughter, then fondled her during a sleepover at his house in May. Kolibas is charged with three felonies: lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, second degree unlawful restraint and giving a drug to a minor. He has been held without bail since July.

“We anticipate filing more charges,” Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan said Tuesday.

Donovan remained tight-lipped regarding the details of the possible charges, but did say they might involve more victims. He would not comment if the possible charges were related to an investigation into the contents of cameras and computers seized from the Kolibas home before the suspect’s arrest.

In the alleged victim’s statement, she says Kolibas may have been taking pictures of her during the alleged molestation.

Donovan did not say when the additional charges may be filed.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kolibas’ public defenders and the prosecution had a status conference before Judge Michael Kupersmith. Margaret Jansch, one of Kolibas’ attorneys, told the judge she was lining up experts, including a psychologist and pharmacologist, to testify if the case goes to trial.

The state is lining up similar experts for a possible trial, Deputy State’s Attorney Susan Hardin told Kupersmith.

In an effort to move the case along, Kupersmith set due dates for both sides, hoping to get a trial under way no later than January. The prosecution and defense must disclose the identities of the experts in two weeks, Kupersmith said.

“This is a high-priority case,” Kupersmith told the court.

Police allege that Kolibas molested the teen during a sleepover at his house on May 30. The girl told police the fondling occurred in the middle of the night while she slept next to Kolibas’ daughter. Earlier in the night, the alleged victim said, Kolibas made her and his daughter a smoothie drink that tasted “funny,” according to the police affidavit.

After the girl and her mother alerted authorities to the alleged assault, the girl tested positive for benzodiazepine, a sedative, in a urine test at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Kolibas fled to Maine on May 31 before charges were filed. A Maine police officer apprehended Kolibas on a Chittenden County warrant the next day.

Kolibas is listed on Florida’s sex offender registry for four cases of providing and attempting to provide obscene material to a minor in 1995. According to Florida court documents, Kolibas had adjudication of guilt withheld in the cases. He did not tell the state about the offenses when he moved to Vermont in the past decade..