Heard on the Hill: Former Rothman Aide Sentenced

Posted October 5, 2011 at 2:43pm

Maybe it’s time to put this on a bumper sticker or something. Hill people: It is never OK to have sex with a minor.

Robert Decheine, former chief of staff for Rep. Steven Rothman (D-N.J.), learned this last November. (Why, why is this a thing to be learned?!) He was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for soliciting sex from a minor. 

Decheine, it seems, got caught up in a sting operation that stung several others. He was able to cop a plea bargain and will be serving four months in general population. He will also have to register as a sex offender for 25 years and cannot be in the company of a minor without supervision. His was the harshest sentence handed down in the case — the others who were caught up in the sting were sentenced to probation or 15 days in jail, New Jersey’s the Record reported.

“The legal process has run its course and we hope that justice has been done,” Rothman Communications Director Aaron Keyak said in a statement Tuesday.

According to the Montgomery County Gazette, the ad that Decheine answered on the free classifieds website, backpage.com was as follows: “I will bring you the freshest and newest experience [Gross. Please don’t.] I have sexy, soft, skin ready to be pampered the way you like it … I am available now. You must be discreet and play no games …!”

The ad linked to a Facebook page that showed a blond girl in tight clothes with her face blanked out.

“I’d love to meet you and if your face and personality are as beautiful as your body, we are going to be close friends,” Decheine wrote the fake-blond-prostitute-real-cop in an email. (Eww.) He then made her promise that she was not a cop — because asking someone to pinky swear is always effective.

Herb Jackson, Washington correspondent for New Jersey’s the Record, tells HOH that Decheine’s first email to the fake blonde was time stamped at about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17. He went to meet her for his “car date” around 11 p.m. that same night.

“Bob was a friend to many and an effective advocate,” says someone who works on the Hill and knew Decheine. “He had been on the Hill so long that occasionally he was mistaken for a Member.”

Still, the Hill is not a forgiving place: After Decheine was fired, few of his old friends and colleagues have been in touch.

Decheine started his sentence immediately.