An appeals court has upheld a former McHenry County man’s conviction after he was sentenced to 126 years in prison for sexually assaulting two children over a thousand times over the span of 14 years.
Robert J. Gould, 57, of Nova Scotia, Canada, was charged in August 2017 with 10 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, seven counts of criminal sexual assault of a juvenile family member and criminal sexual assault.
A jury last November returned guilty verdicts for all charges against him.
Gould had been free on bond after posting 10% of his $500,000 bond months after his arrest.
His bond was revoked and he was taken into the custody of the McHenry County Jail following the trial.
McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge sentenced Gould in January to four to eight years for each of the 20 charges he was found guilty of.
The combined sentence was 126 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Gould was also ordered to pay over $12,500 in court fines and fees and over $6,700 in restitution.
Gould appealed his conviction to the Illinois Second District Appellate Court, arguing the circuit court committed error in jury selection and that the volume of other-crimes evidence introduced at trial was “unduly prejudicial.”
The appellate court late last month issued a ruling against Gould and upholding his conviction and sentence.
In 2017, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Gould after Canadian authorities contacted them with information about allegations against the man.
McHenry County Sheriff’s Office investigators worked with the Halifax Regional Police in Nova Scotia to conduct a criminal investigation.
Court records show Gould sexually assaulted and abused two children over the span of approximately 14 years, dating back to 2001 until around 2014.
One of the victims testified that Gould raped or inappropriately touched her more than 1,100 times.
The assaults began when the victims were as young as three and four years old.
The sheriff’s office said Gould had been living in Island Lake and unincorporated Woodstock when he committed the crimes against the two victims. He later moved to Canada.
Investigators made contact with Gould in August 2017 when he was visiting the Wheeling area.
Investigators later obtained warrants for the man and placed him on the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office’s top 10 most wanted list.
Gould was detained by Canadian authorities and later extradited to the United States.
State records show Gould’s projected parole date is January 2132.