Jury convicts ex-Pittsburgh schools police officer in child sex abuse case

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It took only about three hours Monday for a jury to determine that Robert Lellock did it.

The former Pittsburgh Public Schools police officer abused boys from the Arthur J. Rooney Middle School and then persuaded them to keep quiet about it for more than a decade.

The 44-year-old will be sentenced on 13 counts -- including felonies like involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and endangering the welfare of a child -- by Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel on Oct. 8.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Schulte asked that part of the pre-sentence investigation include an evaluation as to whether the defendant is a sexually violent predator.

Mr. Lellock had no comment as he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, his bond revoked.

Prosecutors said that the man sexually abused four boys in the late 1990s. Now grown men, they testified last week that Mr. Lellock would pull them out of class and take them to a janitor's closet.

One who said he was forced to perform oral sex on the officer in that closet was in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

He cried as each count was read, and the foreman announced, "Guilty."

"I feel a sense of peace in my heart that I know he can't do this to anyone else," he said afterward.

Before clearing the courtroom, Judge McDaniel addressed that man saying, "Look at this as the end for you."

Now 28, he was the first to come forward with allegations against Mr. Lellock.

His were the most serious, alleging that the school officer pulled him out of classes dozens of times and repeatedly forced him to have oral sex.

Although he first told a drug and alcohol counselor what happened to him in his teens and years later told the state police what happened to him, it took until last summer for a formal investigation to begin.

"It dramatically affected my life in all different ways," the man said. "It wasn't just a stranger. It was somebody I was supposed to trust."

"I'm so proud that my victims overcame the feelings of shame, fear and helplessness to stand up to their abuser, and that the jury validated their feelings," Mr. Schulte said.

Mr. Lellock testified and denied the accusations.

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Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter @PaulaReedWard. First Published July 29, 2013 3:45 PM


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