Robert Eaton

Robert Eaton

A woman went to offer help to a former classmate after he texted her that he was contemplating suicide, but once she was at the man’s Trevor farm, he allegedly severely beat her, threatened her with guns and sexually assaulted her.

Robert Eaton, 33, was arrested early Friday at his home, 12216 280th Ave., after a five-hour standoff with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. The county’s tactical unit and negotiations team were involved in ending the standoff.

At a bond hearing Monday, Court Commissioner Larry Keating called the allegations against Eaton “disturbing, to say the least” before setting a $250,000 bond.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Burgoyne said the state expects to file charges against Eaton today . He said prosecutors anticipate filing a lengthy list of felony charges, including two counts of first-degree sexual assault while armed, first-degree recklessly endangering safety while armed, strangulation and suffocation, false imprisonment, substantial battery and felony intimidation of a witness, along with possible additional charges related to the standoff with law enforcement.

As part of the bond hearing, Burgoyne outlined the allegations for the court.

According to Burgoyne, deputies were called to Eaton’s home at about 12:15 a.m. Friday. They found a partially-clad, injured woman hiding near a car outside the home. She was taken to the hospital for treatment, where doctors found she had two fractures to one arm and a laceration on her face that required stitches. She also underwent a sexual assault examination.

The 33-year-old woman told investigators she has known Eaton since they were teenagers. She said he had texted her that he was contemplating suicide, and said she went to his home to talk to him because she was concerned. But while she was there, he began to make sexual advances, Burgoyne said. She told him she was not interested and that she was in a relationship.

According to Burgoyne, Eaton then told the woman “she was going to have sex with him or he was going to shoot her in the head.” Eaton is alleged to have grabbed a revolver and first put the gun in his own mouth and pulling the trigger, but the gun did not fire.

“He said, ‘Let’s see who is the lucky one,’” Burgoyne said.

He then is alleged to have pushed the gun into the woman’s mouth and pulled the trigger. Again, the gun did not fire.

According to Burgoyne, Eaton is then alleged to have punched the woman repeatedly in the face, choked her, then beat her with what she believed was a fire extinguisher. He told her he was going to kill her. He is then alleged to have sexually assaulted her after forcing her to remove her clothing.

Burgoyne said the woman was able to get away from Eaton and ran outside unclothed despite frigid temperatures. “As she ran out of the house, he fired a gun at her,” Burgoyne said. She hid outside until deputies arrived.

For several hours, Eaton refused to leave the house for law enforcement. According to Burgoyne, Eaton’s mother went to the property while law enforcement negotiators were on the scene. While on the phone with his mother, Eaton said “don’t they know I have a house full of guns?” At one point he came out on the porch, but refused officers’ commands to surrender and went back inside. He eventually came out and was taken into custody after 5 a.m.

Burgoyne said Eaton told investigators that he had “consensual sexual activity” with the woman.

Inside the house, investigators found three handguns, four rifles and four shotguns, along with the woman’s clothing.

Defense attorney Denise Hertz-McGrath said Eaton lives at and cares for a Trevor farm owned by his family, and works for the North Shore Water Reclamation District in Gurnee, Ill. She said his past criminal history includes only disorderly conduct charges.

Hertz-McGrath said she likely would be seeking a competency evaluation for Eaton.

In October 2018, the court had granted a restraining order against Eaton after a person alleged that Eaton was harassing and threatening a 12-year-old boy who was related to a woman Eaton dated. The petitioner had sought an order that Eaton turn over firearms. However, the court found he was “not in possession of firearms. No further action required for surrender purposes.” The petition was otherwise granted, and the restraining order remains in place until 2022.

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