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Crime & Courts

DeKalb man pleads not guilty to kidnapping, other charges

Robert D. Gahlbeck
Robert D. Gahlbeck

SYCAMORE – A DeKalb man accused of tying, gagging and photographing two girls at his home formally pleaded not guilty to the felony charges Wednesday.

Robert D. Gahlbeck, 57, of the 1100 block of Golf Court in DeKalb, was arraigned on charges of kidnapping, unlawful restraint and child pornography. The most serious charge, child pornography, is punishable up to 30 years in prison.

DeKalb police learned of the offenses while interviewing one of the girls April 2 at the Children’s Advocacy Center, according to court records.

The girl told the authorities she went with her friend to her friend’s stepgrandfather’s house March 26.

While there, Gahlbeck allegedly tied up the girls with rope and placed tape over their mouths, police said. He then took pictures of them after he hanged them by their bound wrists from hooks on his bedroom ceiling, police said. The girls were clothed in the photos.

Police searched Gahlbeck’s house and found photographs, hooks, rope and tape, according to court documents.

He will next appear in court July 10. 

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