Attempted Child Rape Nets 3-10

Posted: July 10, 1992

It was the West Philadelphia mother's worst nightmare.

The man she asked to watch her 12-year-old daughter for 10 minutes turned out to be a sex offender.

And Robert Garland, 40, of Christian Street near 54th, took advantage of the situation by sexually molesting the girl in her bed, then choking and beating her throughout her Webster Street home on Dec. 21, said Assistant District Attoney Shawn Wagner.

Yesterday, Garland, who has a prior conviction for attempted rape, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, indecent assault and possession of an instrument of a crime in exchange for a 3-to-10-year prison term from Common Pleas Judge Arthur S. Kafrissen.

Wagner told Kafrissen the girl's mother asked Garland to stay at her home for about 10 minutes while she went to the store.

Garland immediately went to the girl's bedroom, and when he began molesting her, she screamed and tried to fight him off.

"He then placed a pillow over her face and started to strangle her," Wagner said.

"She, somehow, kicked him off and ran downstairs and tried to open the front door, but she couldn't get it open. Garland then grabbed her by the arm and pulled her, but she got away and ran. He caught her and threw her into the bathroom and she hit her head on the toilet."

Wagner said Garland began choking the girl again, then "punched her in the face several times." When the girl managed flee again, she locked herself in a room.

Garland then pulled out a knife and tried to break into the room.

At that point, the girl's mother arrived home, and the victim ran crying

from the room and shouted, "He's trying to rape me."

After hearing the facts, Kafrissen told Garland that pleading guilty was a smart decision.

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