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.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLaw and DisorderSan FranciscoSan Francisco Police

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Advocates call for permanent moratorium on ‘poverty tows’

Ron Trathen hates change. He recalls moving around a lot as a… Continue reading

Music venue owners warn ‘hospitality and entertainment are dying’

Industry leaders plead with city, state for help

Anti-police protester sues over arrest at 2019 Pride Parade

A protester whose arrest at San Francisco’s 2019 Pride Parade intensified pressure… Continue reading

Veritas offers to forgive unpaid rent, but tenants are wary

Calls for rent forgiveness have been answered, but with some caveats. The… Continue reading

Most Read