Former bus mechanic charged

Robert Havel

GREENUP A former Russell school bus mechanic pleaded guilty Thursday to two sex offenses in Greenup County Circuit Court.

Robert J. Havel III, 69, entered the plea to two class B felonies in exchange for multiple charges being dropped. When asked to explain in his own words what he did by Judge Robert Conley, Havel hesitated before admitting to the charges.

After the entering his plea, Havel’s attorney, Mike Curtis, requested his client be checked by a jailhouse doctor due to numbness in his side.

“I’ve known him for a while and I believe he may have just suffered a mini-stroke,” Curtis said.

Havel was led away into the Greenup County Detention Center, which is adjacent to the Court House Annex.

Previous reports in The Daily Independent show Havel worked at the Russell Independent School District’s bus garage, occasionally substituting for drivers. None of the crimes occurred on school property, the reports said.

Havel was indicted in 2019 in two separated cases pertaining to the victims. A search warrant affidavit shows Havel abused the victims over an eight-year period and threatened to kill himself if they did not have sex with him. He also physically abused at least one of the victims, records show.

Conley set a tentative sentencing date for Havel in May, pending the results of a sex offender assessment. The Commonwealth did not offer any sentencing recommendations. He faces between 10 and 20 years in prison.

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