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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington firefighter has been fired after being arrested recently in Virginia on multiple counts, including a sex crime.

Fairfax County Police say Robert Thomas Hester of Elizabethtown is charged with inanimate object sexual penetration and destruction of property.

The Fairfax County Adult Detention Center says Hester is being held without bond. The jail says he was in court today and is due back in court May 23.

Police say Hester was arrested in neighboring Loudon County, VA, on March 21 on a warrant for the destruction of property charge. A police spokesman says the charges stem from an incident at the Hyatt Hotel in Reston, VA, which is part of Fairfax County, the night of March 19 and reported the next day. Fairfax County officers later charged him with the sex crime against a 35-year-old woman they say Hester knew.

Police say Hester told them he was in Virginia sightseeing.

The City of Wilmington fired Hester, who was a master firefighter, April 15, according to city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert. Hester had worked for the city since November 2000 and was stationed at the Seagate Fire Station with an annual salary of $39,628, Talbert said.

Talbert said the city fired Hester for violating city policy based on his inability to return to work. According to city policy, employees cannot have more than three consecutive days of unexcused absences. She said the incident involving Hester was not work-related, nor did it occur while on duty for the city.

Talbert says she believes Hester has appealed his firing.

Under Virginia law, the crime of inanimate object sexual penetration carries a penalty of five years to life in prison.

We tried to talk with Hester, but jail officials would not let us.

Comment on this Story

  • brenda

    i must be so dumb but what is or how does one sexually penetrate an inanimate object?

  • Guestbellabosso

    What, in heaven’s name, was the object? Enquiring minds want to know.

    The mind reels at the possibilities.

  • otherGuest

    And why is it illegal?

  • guesty

    “inanimate object sexual penetration”

    Sounds like he put something somewhere in the woman he was with.

  • Leroy

    Ask Vog he knows everything

  • RSimmons

    So someone asked me, “Hey Henny, how you do have sex with an inanimate object”
    I told them, “It’s easy, you learn from 30 years of marriage!”
    Take my wife… Please!

  • RSimmons

    doesn’t always stay in DC! How embarrassing to have your manhood called an “inanimate object”

  • SurfCityTom

    the link.

    Depending upon the act, he could face life in prison.

  • a friend

    No one has said that he used his manhood. Get your facts or dont say anything at all !!!!!!

  • Cast the first stone

    I know this guy well and can assure you, without even talking with him, there is much more to this story than the news is reporting. He is not a bad person by any means. I would venture to guess he has made some crazy woman mad and this is her payback.

  • I hate rapists

    You must be the dumbest person ever…There is much more, he’s crazy and has been charged with a gruesome crime. Are you a relative in denial or someone who is just plain stupid? Why dont you go ahead and blame the jews for all of the attrocities in WWII…it MUST have been their fault, Hitler is really a good guy…IDIOT

  • Vog46

    No one caught this part of the story.
    He was a MASTER firefighter – on the job 13 years.

    Making $39,626 annually or about $10,000 more than the starting salary.
    That is very sad….


  • RSimmons

    The baiter on a big boat can make close to $100K a year.

  • SurfCityTom

    did anyone catch he is still being held without bond? This sounds like some pretty serious charges.

  • Guest123234

    I am so tired of this firefighter pay conversation. You don’t like the pay you leave, that simple. You need more money you work another job, that simple. There are two firemen who live in my neighborhood who have lawn businesses and it looks like they do pretty well.

  • Guest Mechanic

    Jeez…….thought NC was in the dark ages. Guess Virginia is farther back than that. Wonder if vibrators are illegal in Va.?

  • Someone I know

    How very crude of those people who are commenting on this story, to know “what object was used.” This is a human being who is locked up in jail for a crime that he is being accused of that he did NOT commit. I say this with absolute belief because I know him. You all are pretty pathetic if that is all you can focus on. Look at his photo, he obviously is extremely afraid and upset. To the one who is speculating that he made some woman very upset, you are right. All I can say is don’t piss off an EX-WIFE!!!!! Before you cast judgement and convict him of something, you first need to know the history. Numerous people throughout Bladen County do.

  • I hate rapists

    Did you know the Boston terroporists too? People knew them and thought they were good people. Police do not arrest and HOLD WITHOUT BOND somoene who is obviously innocent. I think it is pathetic that you want to blame the ex wife. Every female in the world should be upset at this “she deserved it” mentatlity, you must be relatives with the person below who is an IDIOT. The article above never even says anything about an ex-wife, how can you blame her?? IDIOT. I blame people like you who think this is OK. Instead of looking at how scared this guy looks, how about you think about how scared this 35 year old woman must have been….IDIOT

  • Guest X

    Does anyone really care one bit if the EX WIFE gets upset.No I didnt think so.I mean your an ex for a reason,right.

  • Fire the DA’s

    I think they were saying the ex wife is the plaintive….I heard he was only trying to brush her hair??????

  • Guest too

    Funny……they are always innocent huh? Thank you to the person who reminded us all that this maniac is being held WITHOUT BOND! There is a reason…..Its called, evidence! Obviously the fantastic group of law enforcement personnel in Virginia know what they are doing……so go ahead and bash the ex-wife….its ok, what she has already been through, your mean words are nothing! You know him so well….ok, I know her very well. EVERYBODY has history you moron…..but no one deserves a sexual assault. So hang in there ex-wife…..I support you!

  • Vog46

    No not kidding at all.
    Its one thing to pay low salaries its another to be behind most cities in your state when it comes to salaries and Wilmington is behind most cities for firefighter salaries.


  • Guester

    But Vog, I think that salary figure is a little deceptive because it doesn’t include the OT they get on a regular basis or the additional benefits they receive.

  • Vog46

    Thats not the issue.
    I looked at other cities in NC and average salaries.
    Did not include OT did not include benefits.
    Like the volunteers in West TX these guys don’t shrink away from bad things they run towards them and as a result I enjoy lower homeowner insurance premiums.
    I say make them on par with Raleigh.
    Start them out low if you have to but put in step increases perhaps based on certifications earned or job experience.
    I would gladly pay more in taxes to give police and firefighters a raise.


  • Guest100

    If there are firement out there that think they are underpaid, they should consider joining the fire department in Fairfax County, Virginia. Every year, the captains and batallion chiefs in Fairfax Fire Dept. are listed among the highest paid government employees in the state of Virginia. Fairfax usually has several dozen captain and batallion chief positions, and some of them earn over $200,000 per year with overtime. That is just their pay, and does not include their fringe benefits, which brings the total compensation of some close to $250K. Some of our firemen make more than the Fire Chief and other senior county executives.

  • Vog46

    From what I can gather the charges are still the same.
    However, I believe the felony sex charge you cannot bond out on in VA.
    I could be wrong about that.
    From what I’ve read he was arrested on the destruction of property charge in Loudon County. While in jail (the following day) the inanimate object penetration sex charge was levied in Fairfax county and their detectives picked him up.

    Another fine example of to make people think of Wilmington as a destination place.
    Between this and Brian Berger? It could become a very tough tourist year


  • Guest Wway

    “I hate rapists”, you’re an absolute idiot! Your post makes no sense and has nothing to do with this. You don’t know this guy and your post is offensive. Find something better to do with your time please!

  • I am not into name calling…

    You should not make judgements if you DO NOT know the parties concerned. 1) Are you familiar with Virginia law? If not then do not assume that because he does not have bond that he is guilty. He resides out of state, therefore a flight risk…also the seriousness of the charge. 2) I believe if you will read what the people who are defending him are saying…they must know more history than you do. His ex-wife is a liar and has in the past made allegations that were unfounded. If all you can do is make assumptions and call people idiots then you should really refrain from saying anything!!!!

  • PublicAvenger

    I hate rapists too. But people are innocent until proven guilty. And we do not have the whole story yet.

  • Guest CommonTater

    would be better off as a “master baiter”? hmmmmm

  • PublicAvenger

    I always give the cop / firefighter the benefit of the doubt. The facts will slowly roll out, and, sooner or later, we’ll see the truth. One way or the other.

  • MORON ?????

    I do believe the only moron in this case is you and the plaintiff . While you are airing all of his dirty laundry , let’s air some of hers why don’t we….. Funny how her name isn’t being posted or shared online or on the news. Hey, she wants a war…. She can sure enough get it…. Do you really think he is the only one on earth that has read her nasty vulgar and out right threatening Emails and text messages? Some of which were about her son. Don’t paint her as a saint. She is far from it. She needs to carry her high and mighty behind to prison for all the false police reports she has filed over the years. ” What she has been through” give me a break…. That wicked sea hag has put that man through more than you “friend” can even understand. She’s a bully…. That if she doesnt get what she wants she files unfounded charges on him. FYI…. evidence is not what is keeping him there…. Moron… It’s because he lives out of state… Learn something new and intelligent before replying. On a lighter note…. Glad to hear she has a friend… No one was aware she had one.


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