Sacto 9-1-1
August 22, 2011
Trial begins for released child molester who was re-arrested

clip_image002.jpgcobb.jpgTrial got under way today for a convicted child molester who was arrested less than three weeks after he was released from prison last year on a judge's order.

Robert Winston Precobb, 56, is charged with one count of annoying or molesting a minor and five more counts of furnishing marijuana to minors.

Precobb had spent more than 20 years in prison on a child molestation conviction before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Sharon A. Lueras ordered him released in February 2010. Lueras ruled that a 2006 California Supreme Court decision invalidated Precobb's 15-to-life term. The judge then resentenced him to time he had already served.

Investigators say Precobb had barely gotten out of prison before he lured a 14-year-old boy into his motel room, smoked marijuana with him and then asked him a number of sexually suggestive questions.

Precobb later showed up at a park near the 14-year-old's midtown charter high school, police said, prompting the investigation that led to the defendant's March 16, 2010 arrest -- some 18 days after his Feb. 26 release.

Further investigation turned up evidence Precobb in the interim had given marijuana to three other youths to "groom" them for his sexual advances, Deputy District Attorney Keith Hill said in his opening statement today.

Defense attorney Ken Rosenfeld conceded that Precobb is "a man with a history," but he asked the jury to keep an open mind on the case until all the evidence is in.

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