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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A former Wilmington firefighter is out of jail after prosecutors in Virginia decided not to refile a charge against him.

Last week a jury found Robert Hester of Elizabethtown not guilty of one count of object sexual penetration by force and a count of abduction with intent to defile, according to the Fairfax County Clerk of Court’s Office. The judge declared a mistrial for another count of object sexual penetration by force.

Friday, prosecutors decided not to refile the charge against Hester, according to his attorney, leading to Hester’s release. Jail records show Hester was released Friday.

So far we have been unable to reach Hester for comment.

The charges stem from an incident March 19 involving a woman investigators say Hester knew. Hester was held without bond starting March 21.

The Wilmington Fire Department fired Hester in April because he missed too many days of work.

Comment on this Story

  • Marilyn

    It is such a shame that once again someone is found guilty and then must be found innocent. This young man and his family have gone through so much over the past several weeks and, of course, the whole story was not told. I just hope the news media will give this innocent verdict as much coverage as it gave the news when the charges were filed. This family needs lots of prayers and I just hope, and pray, Robert can get his job back as a firefighter and will be a stronger person following this ordeal. His courage and faith in God is an example to so many.

  • Vog46

    that they won’t refile charges tells me they don’t have a case.
    It’s time to determine if it’s in our best interest to re-hire this man.


  • WFD

    It is unfortunate that society and the courts automatically take the side of the woman. She should be charged with filing a false report- Good Luck Mr. Hester- I wish you the very best- And to you WFD ~ Give him his job back! It’s the right thing to do!!!!!!

  • Guest2020

    I think there should be a rather harsh punishment for women who falsely accuse a man of a sex offense. Even if the man is considered not guilty by the courts, he still lives with the stigma of being accused, especially if there is media coverage.


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