Brigham man charged in 10-year-old sex case

Saturday , June 28, 2014 - 11:36 AM

Standard-Examiner staff

BRIGHAM CITY -- In a case authorities say actually has a ring of hope to it, a middle-aged man has been charged here for child sex offenses of more than 10 years ago.

Robert Leroy Kolendar, 52, most recently of Logan, is held in the Box Elder County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail after police say he earlier this month admitted to five first-degree felony charges: three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of sodomy of a child. Upon conviction, he could face a 15-years-to-life minimum mandatory prison sentence. Formal charges were filed Wednesday by the Box Elder County Attorney's Office. His arraignment is set for Monday before 1st District Court Judge Ben Hadfield.

The listed victim in the case, now an adult, came forward in May to accuse Kolendar, according to charging documents, telling of three illicit contacts, short of rape, beginning in 1998, the first when she was 5 years old.

A case such as Kolendar's highlights the importance of victims of child sexual offenses realizing the statute of limitations -- typically four years after which a case cannot be filed -- begins to tick on the date of reporting an incident to authorities, Detective Sgt. Paul Mankin said, not the date of the crime.

"The main message here is it's never too late to seek justice," he said. "A case like this gives empowerment to victims to come in and say 'This happened to me' and know that we'll listen. That there is a process and a hope for help."

Three weeks after the woman reported the offenses to the Brigham force, Kolendar gave himself up to police and confessed, court records say.

"06/16/14: Robert Kolander came in to the Brigham City Police Department to turn himself in on this case," reads a probable cause statement filed by the department. "Robert was interviewed after being read and understanding his rights and admitted to ..." the allegations, described in explicit detail in the court document.

The crimes in the fall of 1998, the late summer of 1999, and the spring of 2001 allegedly occurred in three different locations in Brigham while Kolander was a resident.

​"The victim would have been approximately 5, 6 and 8 years old at the time of the events," according to the criminal complaint filed by Deputy Box Elder County Attorney Brandon Maynard.

Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238, Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister​​

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