Mother of one of Potter's prior victims...
BUCYRUS — A 42-year-old Bucyrus woman didn’t need to be reminded of Robbi Potter.
She’ll never forget him.
Potter, 27, molested the woman’s then 9-year-old daughter nearly 10 years ago.
The girl was one of his two victims; the other was 7. Potter was sentenced to three years in prison for two counts of sexual battery.
Potter is back in the news this week. He absconded from a Mansfield halfway house, hooked up with Candace Watson of Crestline and her 4-year-old daughter, Haylee Donathan. They have not been seen since May 31.
“I wish I had something great to tell you, but not much has changed,” said Drew Deserto, assistant chief of the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force.
Deserto said authorities are getting tips from all over the country, as far away as Colorado and Arizona.
“We haven’t been able to confirm any sightings,” Deserto said. “We’re continuing the hunt.”
The Bucyrus mother said she hopes the task force finds Haylee soon because of Potter’s criminal history.
“You give him two minutes alone with her, who knows what will happen?” the woman asked.
The News Journal is not naming the 42-year-old to protect her daughter’s identity. Her daughter is now 19. She didn’t come forward about the sexual abuse until about four years ago.
The psychological scars are still there.
“She’s got a trust issue with everybody now,” her mother said. Looking back, the mom realizes there was something wrong with her daughter.
“She was very quiet,” the 42-year-old said. “She didn’t really socialize a whole lot. She really cut herself off from the world.
“I just thought she was quiet, not thinking something had happened to her.”
That changed one night when the girl, then a teenager, came to her mother’s room with tears in her eyes.
“It got the best of her,” the Bucyrus woman said. “She didn’t understand it. She was tired of having nightmares.”
The mother expressed bitterness about the plea bargain that resulted in Potter getting a three-year sentence. She maintains he didn’t get enough prison time.
The 42-year-old can’t imagine another mother going through that kind of pain, which is why she questions Watson for reportedly getting involved with Potter. Watson’s family says she didn’t know his history.
“This is personal for me,” the Bucyrus woman said. “I can’t believe this mother would put her daughter in this situation. That makes me mad at her.”
As for her 19-year-old daughter, the woman said the teen is fearful.
“She said she feels he’s dangerous,” the mother said. “She’s afraid that now that he’s already in trouble, he might come after her because she’s the one who initially put him in prison.” ..Source.. by MARK CAUDILL • For The Marion Star