Man charged after alleged hotel sexual assault


ELKINS — A Virginia man is behind bars after an alleged sexual assault at an Elkins hotel on Thursday.

Robert J. Springer, 72, of Chesapeake, Virginia, has been charged with sexual abuse-first degree, a felony, and is being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $25,000 cash-only bond.

At approximately 8:52 p.m. on Thursday, a call was made to 911 about an alleged sexual assault at the Elkins Inn and Suites. The caller was the front desk clerk at the hotel, who said a woman told him she had been sexually assaulted by a man in her room and asked him to call for help, the criminal complaint states.

The hotel clerk took the alleged victim to a safe location, and when Deputy Z.T. Pingley of the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department arrived he had learned the man, later identified as Springer, had entered the lobby and was looking around. He did not approach the front desk or ask for any help, but appeared to be looking for someone, according to the criminal complaint.

Once Springer saw Pingley, a concerned expression crossed his face and he asked the officer if he was there for him, the criminal complaint states. Pingley said he could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage on Springer’s breath, and he told him to standby while he spoke to the alleged victim.

The alleged victim told police that she was drinking in the room with Springer and was on the bed when he began making unwanted sexual advances toward her, according to the complaint. She told police she attempted to push him away but was overpowered by him.

The criminal complaint states Springer then got on top of the alleged victim and began to grope her, although she told him to stop multiple times.The alleged victim then left the room to find help, police said.

Springer admitted to “play(ing) with her” but insisted the activity was done with the alleged victim’s consent, according to court documents.


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