An Augusta man who died in a construction accident Tuesday might have been a family man who loved his children, as his ex-wife says.
However, Robert Marandes Rodriques Jr., 52, was also a convicted sex offender, burglar and thief with a lengthy criminal record that includes a 2009 conviction for burglarizing a neighbor’s home in Augusta and stealing a television set.
In connection with that case, Rodriques filled out an application for a court-appointed attorney, swearing that he was disabled and that his only income was a $659 monthly Social Security payment.
According to his obituary and other sources, Rodriques worked at Tire Warehouse in Augusta at the time of his death.
The disclosure of a checkered past complicates the picture of Rodriques, even as the Occupational Safety & Health Administration investigates the mishap in which a seasonal lakefront home collapsed during repairs and fell on him.
Rodriques was working with Linwood Stover, owner of Kennebec Home Improvements, to repair a foundation under the summer camp on Lovejoy Pond in Albion when the accident occurred. Stover was injured and Rodriques died at the scene.
Maine State Police have completed an investigation into the accident, spokesman Steve McCausland said Thursday. He also said police were aware of Rodriques’ criminal history and that it had no connection to the Albion accident.
An OSHA spokesperson said a report on the construction accident would not be available for several weeks.
Cynthia Rodriques, who lives two doors down from her ex-husband’s apartment on Chapel Street in Augusta, said earlier this week that Rodriques was a hard worker who loved his five children. “He was always there for his kids, always there for his family,” she said Wednesday.
That sentiment is clouded by criminal records in Kennebec County Superior Court and Augusta District Court.
Court records show Rodriques was born in Boston and was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia at various points. He spent time in 1983 in Bridgewater State Hospital in Massachusetts and at MaineGeneral Medical Center in 2006 for psychiatric treatment.
His body bore the scars from chain saw accidents and showed his fondness for tattoos of cobras.
Rodriques and Cynthia married in October 1994, and he moved to Maine with his wife and her young daughter.
In June 1995, and again in September 1995, Robert Rodriques was charged with operating after suspension in Randolph.
Convicted of both charges three years later, he was fined $500 for each charge. After a number of small payments, they were paid off in 2002.
Rodriques was charged in October 2003 with gross sexual assault.
Four months later, he pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of sexual abuse of a minor, with the dates amended to indicate the offense occurred between Nov. 13, 1996, and Nov. 12, 1997. A judge sentenced Rodriques to five years in prison, with all but nine months and one day suspended, and four years of probation.
Notes in the file indicate that the victim, in the age range of 14 to 16 at the time of the abuse, supported the sentence because she wanted to resolve the case.
The conviction required Rodriques to register for the next 10 years as a convicted sex offender. On Thursday, his photo and information remained on the online sex offender registry maintained by the Maine Department of Public Safety.
On that registry, Rodriques has 20 different aliases, mostly spelling variations of his names. Several other criminal charges also show his middle initial as P.
In fact, shortly after the accident happened Tuesday, police didn’t know how to spell Rodriques’ name correctly, and they gave two incorrect spellings to the media.
Conditions of probation stemming from the sexual-abuse conviction prohibited Rodriques from contact with the victim and her family. In November 2004, Rodriques’ probation conditions were amended to ban him from contact with children under 18 unless the contact was approved in writing by his probation officer.
The couple divorced in 2005, but Cynthia Rodriques said Thursday they intended to remarry in two years — after he came off the sex offender registry.
She said she feared she would lose custody of her children if she remained married to him.
“Everybody who knew Bobbie and I, they knew that he considered me his wife no matter what,” she said, “and the only reason I divorced him was — because of his charges — DHHS made me.”
‘He tried … to fix this’
Part of Robert Rodriques’ sex offense conviction included an order of restitution, saying he had to repay five people amounts varying from $40 to $525. At the time he was convicted of the sex charge, he also was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of theft by misapplication of property.
Assistant District Attorney Paul Rucha said Thursday that Rodriques was accused of collecting rent money from tenants and failing to forward the money to the landlord.
The restitution was meant to reimburse the tenants. As of Thursday, Rodriques had repaid about $400 and still owed $1,400, according to records at the district attorney’s office.
Rodriques was convicted of driving a motor vehicle after revocation of his license and of negotiating a worthless instrument in March 2001 and spent five days in jail. Eight months later, he was charged with a felony count of driving after revocation and given a three-year suspended sentence.
He was convicted in February 2004 of violating conditions of release and violating a protective order and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
In November 2007, Rodriques pleaded guilty to theft by unauthorized taking and spent time in mental health court.
Rodriques was sentenced to a year in prison for the 2009 burglary and theft convictions. It appears his probation ended when he was released in 2010.
Rodriques was due to come off the sex offender registry in 2014.
“He tried to make what was wrong better,” Cynthia Rodriques said. “He tried for eight years to fix this, and we just had two more years to go.”
Staff Writer Craig Crosby contributed to this report.