Repeat offender pleads guilty to harassing woman, threatening to rape her in St. Louis County
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A man who was already serving a 71-month prison sentence for harassment and stalking was sentenced to seven additional years behind bars in a separate harassment case.
Robert Merkle, 54, pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree harassment. The maximum penalty for the crime was enhanced from four years to seven because Merkle was sentenced as a “prior and persistent offender.” He admitted to threatening a woman he briefly dated with breaking into her home and raping her. He told her to stop calling the police after she reported the harassment, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said.
The 71-month sentence Merkle was already serving is a federal sentence. The harassment charge he pleaded guilty to Thursday was in St. Louis County court.
Merkle had also previously been charged with harassment in 2017 and 2018 in Jefferson County Circuit Court and St. Louis Circuit Court.
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