Jailer accused of offering girl, 15, candy for sexual favors

Robert Emerson Robinson, 28, is charged with sexual assault of a child under the age of 17.
October 11, 2012 2:22:30 PM PDT
For the second time in one week, details emerge of sexual misconduct in Harris County jails between jailers and inmates. This time, it's alleged to have happened at the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center with an inmate who is just 15 years old. The age of the inmate makes this alleged misconduct a criminal act.

Robert Emerson Robinson, 28, is charged with sexual assault of a child under the age of 17.

Prosecutors say a surveillance camera on the fourth floor of the detention center at 1200 Congress was directly in front of the cell in which the 15-year-old female was housed and footage reviewed by investigators shows Robinson going into her cell when the lights were out.

"We take these allegations very seriously because we know that prisoners overall are less likely to be believed when they tell a story, and especially in this instance when you have a juvenile," said Amin Alehashem, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project.

The sexual misconduct at Harris County Juvenile Justice Center allegedly happened on May 23. The teen said she allowed the (sexual activity) because he had provided her with candy and treats while she was incarcerated at the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center.

The charges come less than a week after accusations at Harris County's adult jail. Four detention officers and a deputy were fired amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

"This sort of shows an overall culture, a systemic potentially problem within our detention centers throughout Texas," Alehashem said.

Court records say Robinson told investigators during a voluntary interview that he made a mistake and that the teen was telling the truth about the sexual activity.

Robinson has since been fired.

The Harris Co. Juvenile Probation Department released a statement Thursday which read:

    "On August 1, 2012 the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department obtained information that Mr. Robert Robinson, a Juvenile Supervision Officer, was involved in inappropriate behavior with a 15 year old female juvenile while in the Juvenile Detention Center. Mr. Robinson, a six year employee with the agency, was relieved of duty immediately and his employment was terminated on August 7, 2012. The Harris County Juvenile Probation Department turned all information over to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and the Houston Police Department. The Harris County Juvenile Probation Department has been cooperative with law enforcement, and has provided them with all the information available for their investigation. As the criminal justice process progresses, the department will continue to provide law enforcement, as well as the District Attorney's Office with any information that will aid in the process."


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