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 February 2nd, 2006  
New charges against jail inmate arrested in early January for raping mentally handicapped teenage girl
A 34-year-old St. Lucie County man arrested by St. Lucie County Sheriff’s detectives Jan. 9 for raping a mentally handicapped 17-year-old girl who also suffers from cerebral palsy now faces new charges, said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara. “We have arrested Robert Michael Buhrman on new charges of solicitation to commit aggravated battery and retaliation against a witness,” Sheriff Mascara said. “Our investigation revealed that Buhrman tried to hire someone to burn the home of the victim’s family, kidnap a child in the family, or pistol-whip and threaten family members so they wouldn’t testify against him in court on his Jan. 9 arrest for sexual battery of a handicapped minor.” Sheriff Mascara said Buhrman offered to pay the “hit man” after his release from jail. He offered to give him two boats and a color TV set as collateral. Buhrman made the offer through a fellow jail inmate. Once detectives contacted the inmate, he cooperated with the investigation, Sheriff Mascara said. “The Jan. 9 charge was extremely serious -- a first-degree felony, which could result in 25 years in prison,” said Sheriff Mascara. “The new arrest, on Jan. 25, contains new charges which are also serious. That’s why we moved quickly to complete the investigation. Today’s charges are second-degree felonies, which could result up to 15 years in prison each.” Sheriff Mascara thanked members of the Fort Pierce office of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who assisted in the investigation. Family members of Buhrman’s victim were notified of the investigation.

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