WILLIAMSON - “Out of all the cases I preside over in magistrate court, those involving the abuse of children are the ones I understand the least,” remarked Mingo County Chief Magistrate Dallas Toler, following the arraignment of Robert Ryan Hager, 39, of Varney, Friday afternoon.
“Those that are charges of a sexual nature are the hardest to comprehend,” Toler said.
Hager was arrested following an investigation by Trooper Matheny and Corporal Hensley of the West Virginia State Police, after they were notified by a Child Protective Services (CPS) worker with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) that the defendant had been accused of sexually abusing his juvenile daughter.
Cpl. Hensley told the Daily News that during the questioning of Hager on Friday, the defendant reportedly admitted to the officer that he had made sexual contact with his young daughter on at least five separate occasions, between May of 2011 and June of this year.
“Children are innocent; they’re to be protected and loved,” said the magistrate. “When I see situations where there are allegations that a child has been mistreated in any fashion, especially when the accused is a parent, it’s just impossible to wrap your mind around how or why.”
The statute of the five counts of sexual abuse by a parent against Hager state that if any parent, guardian, custodian of, or other person in a position of trust in relation to a child under his or her care, custody or control, engages in or attempts to engage in sexual exploitation of, or in sexual intercourse, sexual intrusion or sexual contact with a minor shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a correctional facility not less than 10 nor more than 20 years, and can be fined not less than $500 nor more than $5,000.
“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but when there’s an alleged confession to a police officer that the crime did take place, you find yourself shaking your head, trying to understand how things like this happen.
“I’m a father, and there’s nothing or no one in the world that means more to me than my boys. They’re my life – pure and simple,” Toler said.
Hager was arraigned by Toler and was issued a full cash bond of $50,000. He was transported to the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden and will appear back in magistrate court in the near future for a preliminary hearing regarding this matter.