Roby pleads guilty to kidnapping charge


A man with ties to Fort Dodge has pleaded guilty to kidnapping charges in Cedar Rapids during the second day of jury selection in his Linn County trial.

William E. Roby, 51, of Cedar Rapids, pleaded guilty to third-degree kidnapping and third-degree sexual abuse Tuesday morning.

The Gazette reported that Roby admitted holding a 62-year-old woman against her will and sexually assaulting her during an almost 10-hour period on May 15, 2011.

Jason Burns, assistant Linn County attorney, told The Gazette Tuesday that “extenuating circumstances came up this morning and the state was forced” to offer Roby a plea agreement.

Burns declined to discuss the case further until sentencing.

The police search warrant affadavit said Roby abducted the woman from a room in his apartment building. The woman told police Roby dragged her into his apartment before locking the door as she screamed for help.

The Gazette also reported that Roby threatened to kill the woman’s cat if she didn’t listen to him, and also threatened to kill her and himself if police responded.

The woman was eventually released and called 911.

Roby’s criminal record includes several charges in Webster County, including a 1991 attempted murder conviction. According to the Iowa Department of Corrections, Roby was sentenced to 25 years in prison on that case, but released in 2000 because of good behavior.

He was also convicted of assault causing serious injury and domestic abuse in Webster County. He has not yet been sentenced in that case, but it’s believed his term will run consecutive to his sentence in Linn County.

A sentencing date for the kidnapping and sexual abuse case not been set.