ST. LOUIS • A man already in prison for his third sexual offense involving a minor was found guilty Tuesday of a fourth — this time involving a girl who was in kindergarten.
Authorities said Scott Solovic began repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting the girl just one month after he got out of prison in May 2004 from one of his prior offenses. The abuse continued over two years.
At the last minute Tuesday, Solovic, 38, waived a jury trial and had his case decided by a judge, who heard testimony from the victim, now age 12, and her family.
Solovic also testified, emphasizing that his prior offenses involved teenagers and, "I had no reason to do what I am accused of doing ... with someone so young."
In 1996, Solovic pleaded guilty of statutory sodomy involving an underage girl in Affton and was sentenced to a year in prison. In 1999, he pleaded guilty on three counts each of statutory rape and statutory sodomy involving a 15-year-old girl who lived in his neighborhood at the time in Maplewood.
He was released in May 2004 after serving five years on that charge.
In September 2006, Solovic was headed back to prison, this time for 13 years after pleading guilty of forcibly raping a 14-year-old girl in an alley in the 6000 block of Michigan Avenue.
The victim in the current case knew Solovic through a family member and would sometimes stay over at his Louisiana Avenue house, where she said the abuse occurred. Assistant Circuit Attorney Neil Miller said that when Solovic was locked up on the 2006 case, that allowed the girl to finally feel safe.
"She didn't have to worry anymore about him sodomizing her, or covering her mouth with duct tape, or (threats about) killing members of her family," he said in opening statements.
The girl testified that she reported the abuse in 2010, once she became afraid of Solovic's eventual release. In addition to raping and molesting her, she said he took pictures with a cellphone of the encounters.
Solovic's public defender, Lyn Ruess, said in court that her client 'strongly denies" the accusations. She questioned some of the girl's account and pointed out that Solovic's phone did not have a camera.
Circuit Court Judge Mark Neill ultimately found Solovic guilty on six counts of statutory sodomy, one count of statutory rape and three counts of child molestation, all of the first degree. He also ruled Solovic guilty on one count of witness tampering, for phone calls he made to the girl's family while in prison.