Media Contact: Curtis T. Hill, Jr. (574) 296-1888

On Thursday, February 5th Elkhart County Superior Court 3 Judge George Biddlecome sentenced Robert Quinn to 53 years in the Indiana Department of Correction for the 1988 rape of an Elkhart girl. On December 17, 2014 Quinn was convicted of Rape, a Class A felony; Child Molesting, a Class B felony; and Criminal Confinement, a Class B felony.

During the sentencing hearing the victim spoke about the effect the attack had on her life and her family. As an adult she moved out of the area for fear that if she encountered her attacker in the future, they would know who she was, but she would not recognize them. While she had resigned herself to not knowing his identity, she now has a great sense of relief that she can put a face and a name to the experience. While her faith and deliberate choices have helped her move forward and retake control of her life, she has never been able to reconcile why this happened to her. The victim's mother also shared that she carries a picture of her daughter from when she was 10, but that it is difficult for her to look at the picture and think about how open and happy she was before attack as her daughter became traumatized and withdrawn in its aftermath. In her comments at sentencing Judge Biddlecome addressed the victim directly, reassuring her that she bore no responsibility for the attack.

In 2012 the victim approached the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department to see if developments in forensic science would allow for a re-investigation of her case. Retired Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney's Office Investigator Gary Kenawell had worked on the original investigation during his time with the sheriff's department and began to re-examine the case. Investgator Kenawell was able to locate samples for re-testing which were stored with the Indiana State Police and in late 2012, a CODIS hit led to the identification of Robert E. Quinn. At the time Quinn was identified he was incarcerated in Indiana Department of Correction for an unrelated Child Molesting conviction. Investigator Kenawell conducted additional follow-up, and in March of 2013 the Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney filed formal charges.

This case was handled by Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Vicki Becker and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Katelan Doyle. Additional information on the investigation is available on our website at http://bit.ly/1sBxTsO.


“Under Indiana law, all persons arrested for a criminal offense are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”