Man sentenced to prison time for sexual assault in Keystone
BRECKENRIDGE – District Court Judge Terry Ruckriegle sentenced a man who performed oral sex on a passed out 22-year-old male in Keystone three years ago to prison Thursday morning.Ruckriegle imposed an eight-year prison term and a three-year term against Robert Manka, 43, to be served concurrently for two felony sexual assault convictions.Sheriff’s deputies handcuffed Manka as soon as Ruckriegle handed down his punishment and led him out of the courtroom as his victim watched.Earlier in Manka’s sentencing hearing, the victim had asked Ruckriegle to order Manka into custody as soon as Thursday’s sentencing hearing ended.”That, your honor, is the only action that could take place to bring some sense of closure for me,” he said.In February, a jury convicted Manka on one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual assault/victim helpless. He was acquitted of false imprisonment and sexual assault involving physical force.The charges stemmed from a night in March 2003 when Manka and the victim had been out drinking in Keystone, then went to Manka’s condominium where the victim passed out.During the trial, the victim testified that he awoke in the middle of the night to Manka performing oral sex on him without his consent.While addressing the court during Manka’s sentencing hearing, the victim relived the trauma of being sexually assaulted.”It is by far the most degrading, embarrassing and helpless feeling I have had in my entire life,” he said. “Try to imagine calling your parents, friends and loved ones, as a young man, and telling them that somebody has taken advantage of you the way Robert Manka has taken advantage of me.”On Thursday, Manka said his memory of the night was blurred because of his high level of intoxication, but maintained that the sexual act was consensual.”I have a hard time saying I did anything wrong because I don’t think I did anything wrong,” said Manka, who said he has been sober for three years.Manka apologized to his victim for the trouble and emotional stress he had been through in the past three years.”I know hard it’s been for me. I can only imagine how hard it’s been for you,” Manka said.Dr. Robert Warren, a social worker who specializes in working with sex addicts, testified during an evidentiary hearing before sentencing, that he did not find Manka to be a good candidate for treatment in a sex offense specific community because he denied any wrongdoing in the case.He also said that Manka presented a low to moderate risk of threat of bodily harm to members of the public if he remained free.Before sentencing Manka, Ruckriegle said the sexual assault was “uncannily identical” to a previous incident in Summit County that surfaced only during Manka’s trial, and that the process of drinking at a bar, inviting a person home and that person awaking to being sexually assaulted is neither accidental nor coincidental. “These are particularly personally traumatic experiences whether they be male or female,” Ruckriegle said. “When someone is sexually assaulted it goes to the very core of their being and it stays there.”He commended Manka for apologizing to his victim, but criticized him for saying sorry only for what his victim had been through and not for what Manka had done to him. Ruckriegle said that if Manka is allowed to remain in the community, the court would have concerns about his sexual compulsion, lack of attachment and intimacy issues.Manka’s attorney Tim Meinert said Manka plans to appeal his case, but withdrew himself from the case because he is not an appellate attorney.Parole opportunities for Manka will be determined by the Department of Corrections, according to Ruckriegle.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13625, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
BRECKENRIDGE — The pandemic has continued to impact local courts over recent months as judges, attorneys and others adjust to the ever-changing criminal justice landscape in the face of COVID-19.