Molestation suspect brought to Vt., held without bail (6/25/09)

Kolibas arraigned in Burlington

June 25, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

A Williston man accused of drugging and molesting a 13-year-old girl was arraigned Monday on three charges.


    Observer photo by Tim Simard
Robert Kolibas stands next his public defender during his arraignment in Vermont District Court on Monday. Kolibas faces charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, second degree unlawful restraint and giving a drug to a minor. Judge Ben Joseph ordered Kolibas held without bail.

Robert Kolibas pleaded not guilty in Vermont District Court in Burlington to the felony charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, second degree unlawful restraint and giving a drug to a minor.

Kolibas returned to Vermont over the weekend after having fled the state on May 31 before he could be arrested by police on the charges. He was apprehended on an arrest warrant in Maine on June 1 less than 25 miles from the Canadian border. Chittenden County prosecutors believe he may have been trying to flee the country.

Judge Ben Joseph ordered Kolibas held without bail after the charges were read. Kolibas appeared before the judge in shackles. Upon hearing he would be held without bail he looked down at the table in front of him and shook his head.

Kolibas is accused of molesting a friend of his daughter during a sleepover at his home on the early morning hours of May 30. According to a police affidavit, Kolibas allegedly drugged the girl, and possibly his daughter, when he gave each girl a “smoothie” drink the Friday night shortly before the alleged incident occurred. The alleged victim tested positive for the sedative benzodiazepine after a urine test was administered.

Police seized five computers and four cameras from the Kolibas home on the afternoon of the alleged incident. The alleged victim told police she saw flashes of light, possibly from a camera, while Kolibas allegedly molested her.

Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan said the investigation is ongoing and would not reveal the contents of the computers and cameras. He said other similar incidents may have occurred at the Kolibas residence and he urged anyone with more information to contact police.

“We want no stone left unturned in this case,” Donovan said after the arraignment. “This case involves kids in our communities, kids in our schools doing something as innocuous as having a sleepover, something kids do every weekend.”

Kolibas is registered as a sex offender in Florida but, according to Donovan, the charges did not require him to register in Vermont. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Web site, Kolibas registered for the offense of providing obscene material to a minor.

Donovan said the Florida charges, which were brought against Kolibas in 1994 and 1995, started out as felonies but were reduced to misdemeanors. Therefore, Kolibas did not have to register as an offender in Vermont when he and his family moved to the state five years ago, Donovan added.

Donovan also said he was unsure if the old charges would require Kolibas to register in Vermont after a new sex offender law takes effect on July 1.

Donovan said all Florida charges would be considered as part of the ongoing investigation.