A 39-year-old Central City man has been charged in Hall County Court with the human trafficking of a minor, visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct and third-degree sexual assault on a child, all involving the same 8-year-old girl.
The crimes allegedly occurred on Dec. 9. Robert K. Hopkins made his initial court appearance on Dec. 18.
On Dec. 17, the girl was interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center in Grand Island by a trained forensic interviewer. In that interview, she said that Hopkins dropped her and two juvenile males off at an indoor trampoline park. He later returned and told the girl he wanted to take her shopping at Walmart for some toys. It was dark at this time as Hopkins actually drove past Walmart and took her out into the country a few miles from the store, she said.
Later, the girl identified the area as being just south of the intersection of Abbott Road and North Road in rural Hall County.
While parked at this location on the side of the road, the girl said Hopkins told her to pull her shirt down. She was wearing a one-piece “jumper” and a Santa Claus hat at the time.
She said Hopkins then began to put stickers all over her upper body and face. The girl was provided a diagram of an age-appropriate depiction of a female’s anatomy by the forensic interviewer and was asked to place an X in each location Hopkins had placed a sticker on her. She placed X’s on the diagram’s forehead, neck, one on each nipple and four rows along her stomach.
She said he began to take photographs and video of her with the stickers on her body with his cellphone. The stickers had curse words on them. The girl said Hopkins then had her pull her jumper and underwear away from her body while seated and Hopkins took additional photographs and videos of her vaginal area. She said she told Hopkins this wasn’t cool and his response was “this is inappropriate but so pretty.”
Hopkins allegedly told her he keeps those types of photographs in a secret folder on his cellphone that requires a password to get into.
The girl said nothing further happened during this time and that Hopkins drove her back into town where they picked up the juvenile males at the trampoline park and then went to Walmart to get toys.
The female also talked about two other incidents, one in November of 2018 and the other in July of 2019. In the first case, Hopkins allegedly touched her privates. In July, he allegedly penetrated her vagina with his finger. Both incidents occurred in Central City.
Third-degree sexual assault on a child is a Class 3A felony. Human trafficking of a minor is a Class 1B felony. Visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct is a Class 1D felony.
Judge Arthur Wetzel scheduled a preliminary hearing for 2:30 p.m. Jan. 16 and set bond at $75,000. Hopkins was released after paying 10% of the bond amount on Dec. 27.