Former KWRT news director pleads guilty in child molestation case

Charles Dunlap
Bob Bosma

The former news director for the KWRT radio station, who last year was charged with second-degree child molestation, pleaded guilty Wednesday.

Robert Bosma, 72, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but his sentence was suspended to five years probation. He will have to register as a sex offender, according to court documents. The age of his victim was 13 at the time of the crime, Cooper County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Phelps said.

If Bosma violates the conditions of his probation, he could end up serving the original sentence.

Bosma’s defense offered the sentence as a condition of him entering a guilty plea, Phelps said. While Bosma won’t be incarcerated, conditions of his probation are more stringent, he said.

“Part of that probation is a special probation for sex offenders,” he said. “He will have added conditions, such as taking polygraphs every six months, mandatory counseling and therapy, things of that nature that your normal probation people don’t have.”

Bosma’s trial was to happen March 4, but was postponed until Wednesday, where he entered the guilty plea.

Bosma’s defense attorney, Kevin O’Brien, needed more time to conduct depositions and the victim lives out of state during the school year, Phelps said.

“Both parties agreed to move it to August for her to be able to appear,” he said.

The victim elected to not testify at the trial, though, Phelps said.

“She is still very much a child,” he said. “That was not because she did’t feel what happened wasn’t wrong of that she didn’t feel she was telling the truth or any of that. She just couldn’t emotionally handle wanting to testify in this case any longer.”

As the deadline approached for the trial, it had become too much, he said. The parents and the victim agreed to the conditions of the plea deal offered by the defense, Phelps said.

“Probation was never an offer from this office,” he said. “When the parents said, ’We are worried about the mental health of our child. We don’t want to put someone who had been victimized already through any more trauma. What can we do?’”

Phelps would prefer if Bosma was incarcerated, but out of concern to protect the victim and her wishes, accepted the plea from the defense.

“I wanted her story, her voice to be heard and her decision to be validated,” he said. “That was the most important thing to me. That is why the case was resolved the way it was.”