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

Anti-eviction demonstrators rally outside San Francisco Superior Court. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Report: Unpaid rent due to COVID-19 could be up to $32.7M per month

A new city report that attempts to quantify how much rent has… Continue reading

Music venues around The City have largely been unable to reopen due to ongoing pandemic health orders. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF to cut $2.5M in fees to help 300 nightlife venues

San Francisco will cut $2.5 million in fees for hundreds of entertainment… Continue reading

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett departs the U.S. Capitol on October 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after Ginsburg’s death. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
GOP senators confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court in partisan vote

By Jennifer Haberkorn Los Angeles Times The Senate on Monday confirmed Judge… Continue reading

Curator Tim Burgard looks over a section of the galleries comprising “The de Young Open,” a huge, varied collection of work by Bay Area artists. (Photo courtesy Gary Sexton/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Bay Area artists jam-pack vivid ‘de Young Open’

Huge exhibition — with works for sale — showcases diversity, supports community

SF Board of Education vice president Gabriela Lopez and commissioner Alison Collins listen at a news conference condemning recent racist and social media attacks targeted at them and the two student representatives on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Online attacks on school board members denounced by city officials

City officials on Monday condemned the targeting of school board members, both… Continue reading

Most Read