Accused rapist held for court on all charges

LOCK HAVEN — A Mill Hall man accused of raping a woman in the early morning hours of Oct. 7, 2019, was held for court on all charges following a preliminary hearing before District Judge Frank Mills on Tuesday afternoon.

Robert Russel Gillin, 44, of Mill Hall, is charged by Lock Haven City Police with felony counts of rape, sexual assault, strangulation and possession of a concealed weapon. He is also charged with a misdemeanor of not being permitted to possess a firearm.

Lock Haven City Police Sgt. Paul Gramley was the first to testify at the hearing. Gramley said he and Officer Andrew Fisher responded to a call of a fight in the parking lot of Brite Laundry, 950 Bellefonte Ave., at 2:19 a.m. on Oct. 7, 2019 and found Gillin and a woman fighting in a red car parked in the lot.

Gramley said Gillin was seated in the driver’s seat, wearing only boxer shorts, and with scratches, bite marks and blood on his hands, chest, back and head. The officer said Gillin told him he was in his boxers only because it was raining and his clothes were all wet.

Gramley said he also found a firearm and magazine under the driver’s seat, and two orange pills …. suboxone … in the car.

The passenger’s door was open with debris strewn outside the vehicle and the woman was lying in “a ball” on the floor, Gramley said. The woman was conscious, he said, and she had blood on her face, chest, hands and shirt. Her clothes, including her pants, bra and underwear, were ripped and on the floor, and she was “out of it,” Gramley said.

More than a dozen photos of Gillin, the woman and the site were taken by Gramley and presented during the hearing.

Gramley said he believed both Gillin and the woman were intoxicated and each one was interviewed at the scene. The woman was taken to the hospital for treatment and Gillin was transported to the county jail.

Both said they were coming from the 40 et 8 club when they began arguing because the woman received a phone call from her ex that concerned her daughter and Gillin pulled over in the laundromat parking lot, where Gillin tried to pull the woman out of the car, Gramley said. Gramley said Gillin told him they were also arguing because she is an addict and the suboxone belonged to her.

The woman was interviewed again a week later by Lock Haven Police Detective Richard Simpson.

Simpson took the stand and described what the woman told him and then wrote down as requested.

She affirmed the information about the argument and Gillin trying to pull her out of the car in the parking lot, Simpson said. “She also said they were arguing about him wanting to have sex and she didn’t want to,” Simpson said.

“When he couldn’t get her out of the car, she said he began to choke her, pushed her into the floor and she passed out. When she woke up, she said the police were there and all her clothes were torn. She said her vagina was sore for three or four days … like after rough sex … and she did not consent to sex and was not conscious for any sexual activity,” Simpson continued. She admitted having sex with Gillin the previous morning, Simpson said.

The alleged victim was not present for the hearing.

Gillin’s attorney, Patrick Johnson, calling the entire incident “bizarre,” told the judge there was no evidence of a sexual assault outside of the statement from the alleged victim, who didn’t testify today and admitted she had sex with his client 24 hours prior to the incident.

“There’s no evidence of a rape kit being done … this is nothing more than a domestic dispute. She wouldn’t leave and it didn’t occur to her until 10 days later. This theory makes no sense. Two counts of rape … there is no testimony from the victim of any penetration. They had sex the same day,” Johnson said.

District Attorney David Strouse said there is evidence.

“The woman was on the floor, her clothing was ripped and torn. The written statement is fully 100 percent entirely acceptable so she does not have to testify and be victimized again by sitting in front of him. She was clothed, she woke up and she was not. Look at her clothes,” he said, detailing how her bra and underwear were torn. This was not a physical dispute. It’s evidence of a sexual assault … rape. She was unconscious and incapable for giving consent.”

After the judge announced his decision that Gllin be held on all counts, the DA told the judge he had some strong concerns about Gillin talking to people about the case that could lead to more charges of intimidation of a witness.

Judge Mills warned Gillin that he is not to have contact with anyone concerning this case.

Gillin was returned to the Clinton County Correctional Facility on $100,000 bail.