Two local men plead guilty to sex offenses

By Travis Gulbrandson

Two area men have pleaded guilty to charges relating to sex offenses.

On Sept. 3, Burbank resident Joseph T. Night, 62, pleaded guilty to one count of rape of a child under the age of 13, and one count of sexual contact with a child under 16 years of age.

The charges are a Class 1 felony and a Class 3 felony, respectively.

For the first charge, Night faces 50 years in the state penitentiary and the possibility of a $50,000 fine. For the second, he could receive 15 years in the state penitentiary and the possibility of a $30,000 fine.

Night will be sentenced at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 12.

On Aug. 20, Vermillion man Roland Gilbaugh, 69, pleaded guilty to one count of possession, manufacture or distribution of child pornography.

The count is a Class 4 felony, which carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment in the state penitentiary and the possibility of a fine of $20,000.

Gilbaugh will be sentenced at 3 p.m. Oct. 1.

In their initial court appearances, both men had pleaded not guilty in their respective cases.

In an interview with the Vermillion Plain Talk earlier this year, States Attorney Teddi Gertsma said Night’s charges stem from a call that was placed Sunday, May 3.

“Law enforcement received a 911 call that an assault was occurring, and when they followed up, (their) investigation led to more charges,” Gertsma said.

Night was released on a $50,000 cash-only bond and is participating in a 24-7 program as a condition of his release.

He was questioned in the hallway of the Clay County Courthouse following his arraignment in June, but told the Plain Talk he had no comment.

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 at a hearing in June when he was asked by Judge Glen Eng if he had any questions about the charges against him.

If no agreement had been reached with either man on or before Sept. 3, their respective trials would have been scheduled for Sept. 23.

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