Stepdad pleads out of child sex abuse case

This guy is the stepdad from hell. And yet his victims only wanted to keep mom happy.

Robert Sparhawk, 48, of Palo Alto pleaded no contest Monday to three felony child molestation charges for sexually abusing his wife’s two daughters, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Sparhawk, an IT analyst for a San Francisco company, reportedly began the abuse in February 2007 when the family lived in San Mateo. The victims were 11 and 12 years old at the time.

The girls kept quiet about the abuse because their mother seemed happy with Sparhawk “after a dismal first husband,” Wagstaffe said.

But when the family moved to Palo Alto in 2011, one of the victims mentioned the abuse to a friend who then told authorities. At first, the victims denied the allegations, but at their mother’s insistence they disclosed the abuse to police. Sparhawk admitted to the heinous crimes and was arrested, but not before a suicide attempt.

He pleaded no contest to one count of felony continuous sexual molestation and two counts of felony child molestation on the condition that he serve 20 years in state prison, Wagstaffe said. An official sentence is expected Dec. 5.

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