South Side man sent to prison for raping girls


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By AMANDA TONOLI

atonoli@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Judge John M. Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentenced Robert Moon, 60, of West Ravenwood Avenue, to 10 years in prison after his guilty plea on three counts of gross sexual imposition and three counts of rape.

Moon was arrested in Cleveland in February 2017 after a Mahoning County grand jury issued a nine-count indictment for sexual contact with two 11-year-old victims.

One of the victims, now 19, spoke during Moon’s sentencing.

“What Robert [Moon] did to me influenced my life,” she said. “It messed me up physically, mentally and emotionally. He shouldn’t see daylight [or] sunlight. ... He should be punished for what he did.”

Joe Gardner, Moon’s attorney, asked the court for a lesser sentence — five years – due to a 15-year stint in the armed forces as a decorated soldier and his declining health.

Moon “was a decorated army vet of 14 years who came back and was begging for food,” Gardner said. “His existence was day to day.”

In addition, Gardner said Moon had no other prior convictions.

“He admitted he did commit these crimes and has accepted responsibility and has done time – since the time of his arrest he has done 18 months,” Gardner continued.

“He admits to the seriousness of the events and he has spent a significant period of time in jail for that. But he’s in his 60s right now. He’s in bad health. Ten years would be a life sentence. He would probably die in prison. Five years would be punishment. ... Moon is truly sorry and accepts responsibility.”

Judge Durkin responded that although he agrees with Gardner, that 10 years in prison may be a life sentence, “the impact the repeated conduct had on these two young girls was a life sentence for them.”

“It was a different kind of life sentence for them to endure,” Judge Durkin added.

If Moon were charged with burglary or theft, Durkin said, the offense may be able to be explained away, “but this case can’t be so easily explained away.”

So the judge sentenced Moon to five years each on two counts of gross sexual imposition, 10 years each on three counts of rape and 18 months on another count of gross sexual imposition – all to be served concurrently.

Moon received a credit of 517 days served and will have five years probation upon completion of his 10-year sentence.

Moon must also register as a sex offender.

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