Shadyside man gets second life sentence for child rape

Crimes and Courts

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – As 77-year-old Robert Eikleberry was sentenced, Judge Frank Fregiate said, “It’s unlikely he’ll ever get out of prison.”

Judge Fregiato imposed the mandatory sentence–ten years to life, and ruled that it must run consecutively–not concurrently–to the other ten years to life sentence he’s already serving for another child rape in Harrison County.

The judge noted that some people may not see the difference between one life sentence and two. But he said the difference is significant, adding, “There will be no freebies for rape in this court.”

The mother of the nine-year-old girl who was raped wrote a letter to the court, which Judge Fregiato read aloud.

She said her daughter has lasting post traumatic stress, and it affects her at random times,  causing extreme distress.

She said her school recently held an emergency drill to practice in case of a real emergency, and when the child heard the announcement over the loudspeaker, she trembled and sobbed uncontrollably.

She told one teacher she thought Eikleberry had escaped from jail “and was coming to get her.”
Eikleberry himself spoke when the judge asked if he wanted to make a statement.

“I’m truly sorry for what I did, and for the pain and suffering it caused her family and my family,” Eikleberry said.

Judge Fregiato said that by running the sentences consecutively, Eikleberry won’t be able to even try to get parole until he’s 97 years old.

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