Hephzibah man found guilty of child molestation

Five girls accused Hephzibah resident

  • Follow Crime & courts

It took just 12 minutes for a jury to return a guilty verdict against a Heph­zibah man accused of 14 charges including child molestation, rape, incest and con­tributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Sentencing was postponed for Robert Gruka, who spent the past three days listening to the recorded statements of the five girls who said he inappropriately touched them as preteens.

Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine said the swift verdict shows the jury believed the victims’ testimony. Asked about the nature of the charges, Gruka’s attorney, Peter Johnson, said he learned long ago not to be judgmental when taking a case.

“You just do the best you can,” he said.

During the trial, prosecutors showed a video of a forensic interview conducted with one of the victims.

The interview, performed at the Child Advocacy Center, showed a girl talking about the times that Gruka inappropriately touched her, starting when she was 6 years old.

The girl told the interviewer she saw Gruka pulling his pants down to molest another girl sleeping in her home and told him, “You better not do that.”

The girl also said in the recorded interview that she once tried to call police after she was molested, but that Gruka took the phone away before she could dial past the “9” in 911.

This was the second trial for Gruka, after the first in September ended in mistrial because of a mistake made by the Public Defender’s Office.

Comments (23) Add comment
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Cynical old woman
1099
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Cynical old woman 01/11/12 - 05:08 pm
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See ya, Gruka! Throw away

See ya, Gruka! Throw away the key!

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 01/11/12 - 05:53 pm
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With that big thing growing

With that big thing growing out of his head I don’t see how any child or adult could resist this Don Juan’s charms.

Jake
32513
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Jake 01/11/12 - 06:04 pm
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A "child" resist his charms?

A "child" resist his charms? Totally asinine comment. Like the child had any choice.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 01/11/12 - 06:08 pm
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Yes, no jokes allowed, even

Yes, no jokes allowed, even if they are a putdown of the perpetrator.

Whatever…

Cadence
219
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Cadence 01/11/12 - 06:12 pm
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BJ was joking. We can still

BJ was joking. We can still make fun of a perp; they deserve to be ridiculed in my opinion. Part of their punishment.

Jake
32513
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Jake 01/11/12 - 06:16 pm
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I like a good joke as well as

I like a good joke as well as the next person, if not more. But in this case children were molested. I'm sure a more suitable joke could be made of his horn.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 01/11/12 - 06:22 pm
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Maybe the boys and guards at

Maybe the boys and guards at the clink can mod this shtick:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc5G04nJecI

seenitB4
86817
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seenitB4 01/11/12 - 06:33 pm
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I thought someone had whacked

I thought someone had whacked him on the head with a baseball bat.

Jake
32513
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Jake 01/11/12 - 06:40 pm
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Now that was funny, mr.

Now that was funny, mr. physics.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 01/11/12 - 06:49 pm
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More than likely the "bump"

More than likely the "bump" on his forehead is a tissue mass. My grandfather had one in the same spot till the day he died.

Dixieman
14942
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Dixieman 01/11/12 - 07:21 pm
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12 minutes? Why not just

12 minutes? Why not just double-time him by the window and find him guilty without leaving the jury box?

raul
4827
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raul 01/11/12 - 07:53 pm
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@BJ. Ha Ha. Now that was

@BJ. Ha Ha. Now that was funny.

LouLou
6
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LouLou 01/11/12 - 07:56 pm
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This leach should have gotten

This leach should have gotten the electric chair.

my.voice
4806
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my.voice 01/11/12 - 08:28 pm
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12 minutes seems like a knee

12 minutes seems like a knee jerk verdict. not saying he's not guilty but 12 minutes??

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 01/11/12 - 08:35 pm
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It will take a lifetime for

It will take a lifetime for these girls to heal. Parents protect your children.
Be informed of where they are going and who will be present. Teach your children how to spot and avoid potential situations. Never expect others to have values for your children that they do not possess and live out in their own lives.

harley_52
23186
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harley_52 01/11/12 - 08:37 pm
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12 minutes? Maybe they took

12 minutes? Maybe they took a 10 minuted break.

Abbynoll
282
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Abbynoll 01/11/12 - 09:09 pm
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Really? People are

Really? People are complaining that the verdict was handed down too quickly? That's crazy. When the proof is there, it's there. This guy is a sick monster.

scoopdedoop64
2366
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scoopdedoop64 01/11/12 - 10:34 pm
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There are very few things in

There are very few things in life that are worse than the abuse of a child. This is a very sick person and I am glad that he is being locked up and I hope he is never released.

shrimp for breakfast
5450
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shrimp for breakfast 01/11/12 - 11:04 pm
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El Creepo! I totally agree

El Creepo! I totally agree scooby!

Bruno
780
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Bruno 01/11/12 - 11:44 pm
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Having been on a jury I can

Having been on a jury I can say that people's minds are made up long before the deliberation begins. 12 minutes is a reasonable amount of time to poll the jury.

junkyardpig
417
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junkyardpig 01/12/12 - 04:32 am
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thing growing out of his head

thing growing out of his head is his devil horn (other will come later

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 01/12/12 - 09:56 am
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reminds me of Fredrick

reminds me of Fredrick Krueger

farrowtrent
0
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farrowtrent 01/12/12 - 02:32 pm
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he doesn't need to ever leave

he doesn't need to ever leave jail.

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