As a former local Realtor waits to hear if the governor will shorten his 90-year sentence for possessing child pornography, his health continues to decline, said his lawyer.
Due to the length of the sentence, Robert Flibotte, 74, remains in virtual lockdown in a Florence prison’s special management unit said appeal attorney Edward Novak Monday.
“It is a very stark and very intimidating place,” Novak said. “Physically, he continues to deteriorate.”
Novak said the last time he spoke with Flibotte, the effective life sentence weighed heavily on the once-prominent Rim Country real estate agent.
In August, a jury convicted Flibotte on 10 counts of dangerous acts against children after prosecutors presented images and videos of children engaged in sexual acts. Prosecutors said Flibotte collected child porn, as evidenced by the 26,000 images and 540 videos of child pornography detectives found on 30 media storage devices in Flibotte’s home and work.
Flibotte has never admitted publicly he had downloaded the images and blamed a computer virus.
At sentencing, Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Flibotte to nine consecutive 10-year sentences, the minimum under state law.
Afterward, Judge Cahill permitted Flibotte to file a petition with the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency seeking for a reduction of the 90-year sentence.
Early this year, the clemency board supported Flibotte’s request for a sentence reduction.
Governor Jan Brewer can agree, veto the recommendation or take no action. Unless she exercises her veto, the clemency board’s recommendation will stand, Novak said.
If approved, Flibotte could spend as little as five years in jail and the rest of his life on probation.
Novak said he expects Brewer to make a decision by early June.
“He is hopeful the governor will go along with the commutation of the sentence,” Novak said.