Next Tuesday will mark one year since former WPTV-Channel 5 weatherman Rob Lopicola, aka Inmate No. 0435541 at the Palm Beach County main jail, was arrested and charged with having sex with underage boys.
It’s likely that, should the former TV-personality-turned-go-go-dancer be convicted, the months spent in jail would be credited.
Thing is, he still has close to five more months to wait, since his trial was scheduled for Oct. 21.
According to jail logs obtained by Gossip Extra, meanwhile, Lopicola has only been visited by a handful of family members and friends and, at best, receives one visit a month.
Among the visitors was Kravis Center Production Manager Coreen Gottschalk, who visited him three times in February and March.
She declined to discuss her visits in detail.
“I have known Rob for 20 years,” Gottschalk wrote in an e-mail, “his family is devastated, the last thing they need is to be exploited.”
His mother, according to the paperwork, visited him once in August, three weeks after his arrest. Three other friends have taken turns visiting Lopicola.
Just why is the formerly popular weekend weatherman waiting for so long before he is either convicted or let go?
In a nutshell: Lopicola has not able to post his $130,000-bond; He has been determined to be indigent and is being represented by already-overextended public defenders; And he waived his right to a speedy trial.
Time’s on Lopicola’s side
“There are indeed a number of individuals in pre-trial detention for that amount of time,” said Palm Beach County State Attorney spokesman Mike Edmondson. “Sometimes, it’s because the judge determined that the individual could be a danger to the community or a flight risk.”
Channel 5 legal analyst Michelle Suskauer, meanwhile, said the system tends to speed up when someone can’t make bail. That, however, hasn’t happened for Lopicola.
“If you’re the defense attorney, you don’t want to rush to trial before you’re ready,” she said. “But it does seem a little bit long.”
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