In her letter to Superior Court Judge Jason Deal, a woman who woke up in a Motel 6 with no memory of how she got there told the court of “the pain I have carried with me for what has turned from days, to months, to now years.”
The woman’s victim-impact letter was read aloud by Assistant District Attorney Kelley Robertson Friday, Oct. 11 in the sentencing hearing for Gabriel Robles, 31.
Robles was convicted by a jury Sept. 27 on a charge of kidnapping, but he was acquitted of rape and financial transaction card fraud.
The judge imposed a 20-year sentence, with the first 13 years to be served in confinement. Robles will receive credit for time served in custody since the arrest, and the rest of the sentence may be served on probation.
The woman’s letter detailed the physical and emotional damage, the sleepless nights and the nightmares she has about Feb. 26, 2018.
“All I have is that cold feeling, waking up to the sound of a truck that morning, in that empty room alone missing every single piece of my clothing, screaming out for who I thought had taken me there and wondering how I even got there,” according to the letter.
Gainesville Police investigated the incident from Feb. 25 and Feb. 26 of last year.
Because the police were awaiting forensics and results from other tests, arrest warrants were not issued until December.
Sgt. Kevin Holbrook previously told The Times the woman woke up at the motel and soon after reported it to law enforcement.
“It is believed that he took her from one location, put her in the car, drove her to the Motel 6, and that’s where the kidnapping charge comes into play,” Holbrook previously told The Times.
Holbrook said the woman was allegedly “in no state of mind … to give authority to be taken” from one location to another.
The woman said in her letter that she felt for the longest time that Robles took “my worth, my safety, my intimacy, my privacy but most importantly my confidence.”
“And for the longest time, I felt he had taken my voice until I had to start accepting that what he did to me was not my fault, and I had to start talking about it if I ever wanted to heal,” according to the letter.
Robles’ defense attorney Scott Tolbert called on handfuls of co-workers and people around him, as his supporters filled up the back pews in Deal’s courtroom.
Most had a similar message to share with the judge, telling Deal about the quiet young man who was hardworking, reliable and trustworthy.
“I’ve known Gabe for probably 10-12 years. He’s just a good kid placed in a bad situation,” Tolbert said following the sentencing.
Robles’ attorney Scott Tolbert previously told The Times he was disappointed with the outcome of the case, particularly after his client had passed a polygraph exam.
In the special conditions of the sentence, Deal ordered Robles to have no contact with the woman or her family members and to not enter any bar or tavern while on probation.