Vermillion man pleads innocent after child porn arrest

By Travis Gulbrandson

travis.gulbrandson@plaintalk.net

A Vermillion man has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of possession, manufacture or distribution of child pornography.

Roland Gilbaugh, 69, appeared handcuffed in court Tuesday morning when he made his plea.

Each count is a Class 4 felony, which carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment in the state penitentiary and a fine of $50,000.

Gilbaugh was arrested on May 31 by the Vermillion Police Department following a report of an older male “hanging around” Prentis Park taking photos of small children in the playground and pool area.

According to a press release from the police department, the person who made the call was a supervisor for a summer children’s program and was “suspicious of the man and felt uncomfortable with the attention he was giving to the children.”

Gilbaugh was confronted by an officer, whom the release said became convinced the “photographic efforts were for nefarious purposes.”

Following an investigation, three computers, multiple hard drives, hundreds of CDs, DVDs and other digital storage devices were seized from Gilbaugh’s apartment.

Initial review of these items revealed they contained child pornography, although forensic examination continues, the press release said.

“I don’t really know anything,” Gilbaugh said Tuesday morning when he was asked by Judge Glen Eng if he had any questions about the charges against him.

Gilbaugh currently is in the Clay County Jail on a $5,000 bond, and although he has sisters – who live in Kansas and Detroit, respectively – neither of them are able to post it.

Public defender Jason Rumpsa, Gilbaugh’s attorney, said his client suffers from numerous health conditions, including stage four kidney failure and reduced lung capacity, and that he is in a pre-cancerous stage of prostate cancer.

Gilbaugh is unable to maintain his various health-related needs in prison, Rumpsa said.

States Attorney Teddi Gertsma argued that Gilbaugh’s bond should stay as it is, as he “doesn’t really have any ties to the community.”

“I’m sympathetic to his health issues,” Gertsma said. “I would just like some assurances that he is going to appear (in court).”

Eng agreed, stating that Gilbaugh is a potential danger to society because of the nature of the charges against him.

“(The bond) is not excessive in any manner, and will not be modified,” Eng said.

Gilbaugh’s motion hearing will be at 11 a.m., July 9. If a plea agreement is reached, a hearing will be on or before Sept. 3.

If no agreement is reached, Gilbaugh’s jury trial is set for Sept. 23.

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