Area Navy recruiter charged with statutory rape of teenager

Friday, September 11, 2009

A naval recruiter was arrested last week on charges of statutory rape after he allegedly had sex with a high school student whom he was trying to recruit.

Robbie J. Millsaps, 35, of 190 China Blue Lane, faces one count of second-degree statutory sodomy, a charge that carries a possible sentence of up to seven years in prison.

According to a probable-cause statement by Cape Girardeau County Detective Jamie Malugen, the sheriff's department was contacted Sept. 2 by an investigator with Missouri Department of Social Services, who said the incident had been referenced in a hot line call to her office.

During interviews conducted at the Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence, the teenage victim said she had met with Millsaps at an area high school in the counselor's office because she had expressed interest in joining the U.S. Navy after she graduated.

Millsaps interviewed her and gave her a recruiting form to fill out, asking her questions about her age and medical history, as well as her general background, the statement said.

On Aug. 27, Millsaps picked up the victim and another female after school and took them to his office to take a test. After the test, he gave the victim a business card that had his cell phone number on it, and then took them to their respective homes, the statement said.

After dropping the victim off, she called Millsaps on his phone, and later reported he began "hitting on her by asking if she was single, if she had a boyfriend, and why a pretty girl like herself would be single," the statement said.

After the phone conversations, Millsaps and the victim continued to exchange text messages and eventually made arrangements to meet the weekend of Aug. 30.

Millsaps allegedly drove her to Fruitland, where he stopped at a convenience store and bought some alcohol.

They drove to Millsaps' residence in Cape Girardeau County, began drinking and had sex several times, according to the sworn statement.

Investigators later retrieved several text messages from Millsaps' cell phone asking the victim to "keep what happened between them on the low," and that he "had a lot at stake," the statement said.

Millsaps was arrested Sept. 4, but has since posted a $4,500 bond, 10 percent of the $45,000 amount set.

Tammy Gwaltney, director of Network Against Sexual Violence, said this isn't the first case she's seen linked to the military.

"It's yet another situation in which power is used inappropriately to take advantage of someone," Gwaltney said.

"It always comes back to the issue of power and control."

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

388-3635