Published November 06. 2013 6:00PM Updated November 06. 2013 6:35PM
A 41-year-old Lebanon man appeared in New London Superior Court Wednesday on charges that he had a sexual relationship with a 12-year old girl.
Robert Chesters of 267 Clubhouse Road has been held in lieu of $500,000 since Sept. 27, when state police in Colchester charged him with first-degree sexual assault of a child under 13 and risk of injury to a minor. Judge Hillary B. Strackbein entered a not guilty plea on Chesters' behalf, appointed attorney Peter E. Scillieri to represent him and continued the case to Nov. 21.
According to an arrest warrant affadavit, school officials contacted state police at Troop K in Colchester in September after several students approached administrators to report that a classmate was involved in a sexual relationship with an older man.
Approached by investigators on Sept. 10, Chesters, who is a widower, said that he and the alleged victim, a friend of his teen-age child, started texting each other and the texts had escalated in an emotional and sexual manner.
As they continued to investigate, troopers were called to Chesters' house on Sept. 11 and found him unresponsive in the front driver's seat of his pickup truck. He smelled of alcohol, according to the affidavit. Chesters was taken to Windham Hospital because police believed he was a danger to himself. While inventorying his belongings, troopers found in his pocket a suicide note he had written to his family and to the victim, in which he apologized for being in love with the girl, according to the affidavit.
The alleged victim reported that the sexual relationship started in August. She said Chesters, whom she called, Bob, told her that if people found about about their relationship, he would go to prison for 10 years. She said Chesters would give his own teen Benadryl for allergies so the teen would sleep soundly while she had sex with him during sleepovers at the home.