RACINE - A teacher accused of sexually assaulting three middle school students didn't realize there was a warrant for his arrest until relatives heard his name mentioned in television and radio news reports last week, his lawyer said Monday.
Once he confirmed that he was wanted for three charges of first-degree sexual assault of a child, Larry J. Robinson, 51, immediately drove from his Milwaukee home to the Racine County Jail to turn himself in, lawyer Mark Richards said.
Robinson has been on paid suspension from his teaching job at Mitchell Middle School since May, while school officials investigate the allegations against him. He appeared in court Wednesday, via closed-circuit television monitor, wearing an orange jail uniform.
Robinson is accused of touching or grabbing the buttocks of three girls over a seven-month period during the 2003-04 school year at Mitchell. The girls were ages 11 and 12. In each case, Robinson allegedly touched the girls as they walked in the school building.
Robinson has taught for Racine Unified School District since 2001. He taught at Roosevelt Elementary School before moving to Mitchell Middle School in 2003.
Before coming to Racine, Robinson taught at Milwaukee Public Schools during the 1997-98 school year. But the school district didn't renew his probationary contract amid poor evaluations and parent complaints about Robinson.
Linda Flashinski, a Unified spokeswoman, would not say where Robinson worked between then and coming to Racine. She said he had positive letters of recommendation when Unified hired him.
Dennis Wiser, executive director of the Racine Education Association, declined to comment on Robinson or his history with
Although Robinson's arrest warrant listed a $30,000 cash bond, both lawyers said a lower amount was in order. Richards said there was no danger of Robinson fleeing to avoid prosecution upon his release.
"He's shown his willingness to come to court. He turned himself in, without representation of counsel, as soon as he found out," Richards said. "To even suggest that he's a flight risk when he turns himself in the minute he finds out about it, is
Robinson was released from the jail after posting a $5,000 cash bond and $25,000 co-signature bond with his wife, Loyce C. Robinson.
Loyce Robinson declined to comment.
A preliminary hearing for Robinson is scheduled for July 21. If convicted of all three charges, Robinson could face up to 180 years in prison.