Robert Yates

VALPARAISO — A $25,000 cash bond was reduced to $1,000 cash Friday for a man accused of fondling and possibly drugging the young daughter of a family who gave him a temporary place to stay.

Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer cited law requiring a reasonable bond be granted, but added the condition that 33-year-old Robert Yates wear a GIS ankle bracelet if released and remain at least 100 feet away from the home and school of the purported victim.

"So don't go close," Clymer said. "Don't try it out 'cause there is no good result."

There is already a court order in place prohibiting Yates from having any type of contact with the girl. If he bonds out of jail, he will be required to meet weekly with his pretrial supervising officer, Clymer said.

"My concern is the safety of the alleged victim," the judge said.

Yates is charged with a felony count of sexual misconduct with a minor.

A 15-year-old girl said that a week after Yates began staying at her Valparaiso-area home in January, he showed up at her bedside at night, reached under her covers and began grabbing her in a sexual manner causing pain, police said.

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The same type of touching occurred repeatedly Feb. 1, at which time the girl said she drank milk provided by Yates, felt dizzy and ill, and woke up with pain indicating to her she had been raped, police said.

Police said Yates purchased several items for the girl, including alcohol, cigarettes, flowers, Valentine's Day candy and a cellphone.

Another person who shared texts with Yates about the girl provided police with a phone that included conversations where Yates allegedly said, "(The girl) so beautiful with her glasses on she magnificent and gorgeous and she has the looks of a goddess" and "I did love (the girl) but I guess she hated me and I was going wait until she 18."

While the initial police reports listed Yates as homeless, defense attorney Michael Woods said Friday that Yates was living with his brother in Valparaiso, but had a disagreement and had left the house temporarily during the period in question.

He said Yates has no prior criminal offenses.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.