School Cop Who Molested 4 Boys Can’t Wriggle Out of ‘De Facto Life Sentence’

Calling his actions “heinous,” a state Superior Court panel on Wednesday upheld the 32- to 64-year prison sentence imposed on a former school police officer who molested four male students.

That decision, outlined in an opinion by Judge Alice Beck Dubow, shot down Robert Lellock’s claim that he shouldn’t have been ordered to serve a “de facto life sentence” for his crimes.

Prosecutors said Lellock was supposed to be protecting the children he molested at Arthur Rooney Middle School in Pittsburgh. Instead, they said, Lellock would yank them out of class during the 1998-99 school year and force them to engage in sex acts in a janitor’s closet.

He threatened to prosecute one of the underage boys for possessing a stolen credit card if the child didn’t keep quiet about the abuse, Beck noted. The victims didn’t report the molestation for years. Lellock kept working for the district until 2012.

An Allegheny County jury convicted Lellock, now 48, of crimes including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, child endangerment, corruption of minors and indecent assault after a trial in 2013. He also was deemed a sexually violent predator.

On appeal, Lellock claimed he shouldn’t have received such a long prison sentence, especially since he had no prior criminal convictions.

Dubow countered by noting that county Judge Donna Jo McDaniel could have slapped Lellock with even more jail time. In any case, Dubow found that Lellock’s penalty is “not unreasonable in light of the number of victims (and) the especially heinous nature of the offenses.”