By John Barry
NEW LONDON —A Lebanon father of three is accused of drugging one of his children in order to have sex with her young friend, according to court documents.
The 42-year-old father of three fell in love with a 12-year-old girl and had a sexual relationship with her, according to police.
Robert Chesters had sex with the girl while she was staying overnight at his house in August, police said, supposedly to visit with Chesters’ daughter.
Police said they found this text message, among others, on the girl’s cellphone:
“I love you so much and I am glad I love you so much as I do sometimes I wish I didn’t love you as much as I do so I would not worry about you leaving … you told me to trust you and I am but admittedly I do get worried you will find somebody much better and much better looking and obviously younger and I cannot wait to see you tonight as my girlfriend/lover either. Bob.”
Chesters was arraigned Wednesday in New London Superior Court on a charge of first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.
He was assigned Public Defender Peter Scillieri and entered a not-guilty plea to the charge. He is held on $500,000 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 20.
State police from Troop K in Colchester arrested Chesters on Sept. 27 after an investigation that began Sept. 9 when friends of the girl told a guidance counselor at the girl’s school that she was involved in a sexual relationship with an older man, police said.
Chesters, whose wife of 20 years had died a little more than a year earlier, told police on Sept. 10 that the girl and his daughter had been friends for about five years. He said that about two months earlier, he and the girl began texting back and forth, police said.
Chesters told police that he and the girl developed a close relationship, but he denied having sex with her, police said.
Another text message police said they found on the girl’s phone, however, said: “When we made love last night your heart really showed through everything. Your heart is all I need making love to you is just a wonderful beautiful bonus. I love you so much baby and I cannot wait to see and hold you again. Bob.”
The next morning, police said, Chesters was found sitting unresponsive in his pickup truck. A trooper said he found a suicide note addressed to his children and the girl in which he apologized for being in love with her.
Chesters was taken by ambulance to Windham Hospital, where he was put on suicide watch.
The girl told police that she and Chesters had sex for the first time in August during a sleepover at his house, police said. Police said the girl told them Chesters gave his daughter Benadryl for her allergies and to help her sleep, letting the girl leave the daughter’s room and go to his.
She also said that he told her if people found out about their relationship, he could go to prison for 10 years, police said.
The girl told her mother, police said, that on Sept. 6 after they had had sex, Chesters took an entire bottle of pills, but that he survived that possible suicide attempt.