The obscenity case against former Highland County Visitors Bureau director Bob Lambert is still under investigation, the county prosecutor said Wednesday, after Tuesday’s grand jury indictments were handed down without the Lambert case among them.
In mid-August, Lambert waived his right to a preliminary hearing and his case was bound directly to the grand jury. But he was not among 14 individuals who were indicted when the Highland County Grand Jury met for its September session on Tuesday.
“It’s still being investigated,” said Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins on Wednesday. “The electronic devices are still being reviewed,” she said.
Lambert, 62, is charged with second-degree felony illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material or performance, and fifth-degree felony pandering obscenity with a minor, according to court records.
Lambert had previously submitted his resignation from the tourism bureau effective at the end of August, but he was dismissed immediately following his Aug. 9 arrest.
At the time of his arrest, Hillsboro Police Chief Todd Whited said that in the early morning hours of Aug. 9 “the police department received information in regards to criminal activity involving sexual acts with minors at a residence in the 400 block of East Main Street. During this investigation officers received information that led to a search warrant being served” at Lambert’s residence.
Police took various electronic devices and other items after executing the search warrant and placing Lambert under arrest.
The Times-Gazette learned that the case was initiated when a relative of a minor contacted police with concerns about the boy’s activities with Lambert. Police located and interviewed the alleged victim, who is believed to be 16.
A short time before his arrest, Lambert had said on social media that he was planning to move to Florida, prompting police to act quickly.
According to an affidavit from Hillsboro Police Sgt. Shawn Kelley, the investigating officer in the case, Lambert “on or about the month of June, 2016 in Hillsboro, Ohio did unlawfully create, produce obscene material that portrayed a minor as one of its participants.” He “did also buy, procure, possess, or control obscene material, that has a minor as one of its participants,” the affidavit alleges.
Lambert continues to be held on $50,000 bond at the Highland County Justice Center, according to court records. He is represented by Hillsboro attorney J.D. Wagoner.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.
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