TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTHV) -- A former Texarkana youth baseball coach is indicted for "transporting minor in interstate commerce for sexual activity.
Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Walter Richard Roberts, age 61 of Texarkana, Arkansas, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of transporting a minor in interstate commerce with intent to engage in sexual activity.
Roberts was a youth baseball coach from 1986 through 1994. Roberts will be arraigned at 1:00 p.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant in Federal Court in Texarkana.
The indictment filed by the grand jury on August 22, 2012, alleges that Roberts transported an individual identified as "M.S." who was under age 18 at the time of the offense, in interstate travel that occurred between 1988 and 1989. The indictment further alleges that this travel in interstate commerce was with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity with the minor and that the sexual activity would constitute the criminal offense of First Degree Sexual Abuse under Arkansas law.
From 1986 to 1989, Roberts served as a baseball coach for 9 to 11 year-old boys who played on the Texarkana, Arkansas, youth baseball team sponsored by Dox Sporting Goods. From 1989 through 1991, Roberts coached boys ages 11 through 14 on the Texarkana, Arkansas, youth baseball team sponsored by Pepsi. From 1986 through 1994, Roberts served as coach for the Texarkana, Arkansas All-Star Tournament youth baseball team for boys ages 9 through 14.
United States Attorney Eldridge commented, "Individuals who commit reprehensible, horrendous acts on children victimize the most vulnerable among us and society in general in unfathomable ways. Thanks to the hard work of the Texarkana Police Department and our office, the charges in this indictment have been brought. As prosecutors and law enforcement, we will work together to thoroughly investigate and prosecute all cases involving sexual abuse of children."
Texarkana, Arkansas Police Chief Bob Harrison stated, "Thanks to the determination and consolidated efforts of the police department and the U.S. Attorney's office, this case has been brought. Collaborative efforts are essential to bringing sexual abuse cases and this case is a good example."
The Grand Jury's indictment alleges that this conduct violated Title 18, United States Code Section 2423 (a). If found guilty, the offense is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
Anyone with additional information regarding Richard Roberts should contact Sergeant Bobby Jordan or Detective Jason Haak of the Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department at (903) 798-3154.