No contact with single mothers, judge tells Fruita sex offender

A judge ordered a Fruita man Friday to have no contact with single mothers, then sentenced him to 10 years to life on probation.

Robert Fortier, 40, was ordered by District Judge Richard Gurley to complete intensive sex-offender treatment and serve five years in Community Corrections.

Deputy District Attorney Mark Hand argued for essentially a life sentence in prison for Fortier, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to allegations he started a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl around September 2008 and continued through May of this year.

The girl became pregnant by Fortier, gave birth to a baby girl Tuesday and put the infant up for adoption Wednesday. She spoke to the judge Friday, unable to stand but sitting next to a prosecutor.

“I feel like this is my fault,” the girl said.

Fortier recorded videos and took pictures of sex acts with the girl on his cell phone, and he gave her alcohol during several of the encounters.

Prosecutors alleged Fortier engaged in a pattern of grooming with the girl, as well as her mother, who initially denied her daughter was having sex with him.

Fortier originally had been invited by the girl’s parents to live with them in their Grand Junction home.

The relationship persisted after the girl’s parents obtained a restraining order against Fortier.

At one point, they gave custody of their daughter to the Department of Human Services, placing her in another home in an effort to break the relationship.

Fortier bought the girl cell phones to stay in touch with him after she was placed in Human Services custody, according to prosecutors.

Aside from the rare prohibition against contacting single mothers, Fortier was ordered to have no contact with children under age 18, and he must submit to monthly lie detector tests and attend victim empathy classes.

Fortier was ordered held at Mesa County Jail until space is available in the county’s Community Corrections program, which could be four to six months.

Fortier, who prosecutors allege continued to blame the victim in the case after his arrest, struck a different tone Friday when he spoke to the judge.

“I’m truly sorry, and if I could take it all back, I would,” Fortier said. “I failed everybody.”


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