GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – A source close to the investigation into the house fire on the south side of Youngstown that claimed three lives early Monday told WKBN 27 First News reporter Gerry Ricciutti that a search conducted at the Green Township home of rape suspect Robert Seman Jr. Thursday evening was directly related to the fire.
The source said when Seman, 46, showed up in court Monday, he had burns on his body. He concealed it at the time by using makeup, according to the source.
It was not until Wednesday that law enforcement officials discovered the burns and took him to the hospital for treatment, the source said.
Agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation were at Seman’s home on Calla Road Thursday evening. There were about a dozen unmarked cars and two vans marked BCI Crime Lab in the driveway, which were captured on video by WKBN’s news crew. The house sits a few hundred yards off the road.
Mahoning County Prosecutors have accused Seman of raping 10-year-old Corinne Gump, who died in a fire on Powers Way early Monday morning in Youngstown. Seman’s trial was supposed to begin Monday morning, but a judge delayed his trial and revoked his bond after the fire, which also killed the girl’s grandparents.
Photos from the scene – Youngstown fire kills 3
Police found Seman’s girlfriend, Lynn Schmidt, at Seman’s home on Monday afternoon and took her in for questioning. It was her daughter, Gump, and her parents, Bill and Judy Schmidt, who died in the fire.
For now, prosecutors said they are working to reconstruct their rape case, hoping to convince Judge Maureen Sweeney to allow the use of statements Corinne made to a social worker and a nurse about the alleged rapes by Seman, 46.
Goshen Police arrested Seman on March 15, 2014, after court authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. A Mahoning County grand jury later indicted Seman.
The victim’s mother contacted police March 10, 2014, to report that her daughter told her Seman had been engaging in sexual conduct with her for several years.