SMYRNA – A 62-year-old man accused of sexual offenses against a minor last Thursday was reportedly asked to leave his church five months earlier after allegedly being caught kissing her there, Smyrna Police said in a probable cause affidavit.
Authorities did not disclose the name of the church Robert A. Halama attended in court documents, but said both he and the 17-year-old girl confirmed the alleged kissing incident in a side room around April. Sexual acts allegedly began in June or July, police said after investigation, and Mr. Halama was charged with 12 counts of felony fourth-degree rape.
Mr. Halama and the teen were found together in a vehicle by Smyrna Police patrol officers responding to a welfare check on the side of Rabbit Chase Lane last Thursday, authorities said. Police determined sexual activity had taken place in the vehicle after a 911 call was placed to Delaware State Police at 6:58 p.m.
A trooper approached the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe registered to Mr. Halama and located the duo in a rear seat, documents said. The case was turned over to the Smyrna Police jurisdiction due to the location and an arrest was made.
The girl was taken to the Smyrna Police Department, where authorities said in papers that she was interviewed with both her parents present. The girl said she knew Mr. Halama for several years through church, police said.
The alleged get-together last week had been arraigned through Skype, police were told, and Mr. Halama picked the girl up near the entrance to her neighborhood Thursday.
Under Miranda, police said in the affidavit, Mr. Halama allegedly confessed to having a sexual relationship with the girl that began in June or July.
Mr. Halama was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and held by the Delaware Department of Correction in lieu of $60,000 secured bond. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Friday morning.
On his LinkedIn account, Mr. Halama listed current employment as a school counselor/behavior interventionist at Positive Outcomes Charter School in Camden. School Director Edward Emmett said Monday morning Mr. Halama departed in 2012 after his contract was not renewed and they hadn’t spoken since.
Mr. Emmett said Mr. Halama began working at Positive Outcomes in 1996 and there was never a belief of any improper activity with students during his time at the school.
“Absolutely not,” Mr. Emmett said. “Speaking for myself, I was horrified and shocked by the accusations, and very surprised as were a lot of people I talked to who knew him.”
Police said investigation continued and asked anyone with information to call contact SPD Detective Davis or their appropriate local law enforcement agency.
While Smyrna Police described Mr. Halama as a Dover resident, his address was listed as being on Fox Hole Road in Camden in court papers.
Fourth-degree rape is a class C violent felony in Delaware Code which could bring up to 30 years in prison.