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VanNatta competency hearing is today
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A competency hearing for Robert VanNatta of Platteville, who faces 907½ years in prison if convicted of the 105 charges he faces in Grant County Circuit Court, will be held today at 8:45 a.m.

Friday morning also is the scheduled time of a status/scheduling conference on the four sets of charges.
VanNatta was set to go to trial in mid-November before Circuit Judge Robert VanDeHey ordered the competency examination.

The charges VanNatta faces, in rough chronological order of the dates the crimes were alleged to have occurred, include:

•    27 counts of child enticement — expose sex organ, 27 counts of exposing genitals to a child, and 40 counts of sex with a child 16 or older. The charges are for incidents that allegedly took place between Oct. 24, 2011 and March 24. VanNatta stood mute on those charges, and a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf July 3.

•    One count of possessing explosives for unlawful purpose, one count of kidnapping, one count of false imprisonment, and three counts of felony bail jumping. VanNatta pleaded not guilty to those charges May 22.

•    One count of solicitation to resist or obstruct an officer with intent to mislead, one count of conspiracy to resist or obstruct an officer with intent to mislead, and one count of solicitation of harboring or aiding a felon by falsifying information. VanNatta pleaded not guilty to those charges Aug. 17.

•    One count of solicitation of first-degree intentional homicide. VanNatta pleaded not guilty Aug. 17.

VanNatta was first arrested in March after the parents of a juvenile female learned about a relationship between VanNatta and their 16-year-old daughter. The Grant County Sheriff’s Department investigation reported that VanNatta had used a cellphone to send sensitive materials to the girl.

The second set of charges stem from an incident that took place at VanNatta’s home on Jones and Vaassen Lane April 19.

The remaining charges were the result of an investigation at the Grant County Jail in which VanNatta was accused of soliciting a jail inmate to kill his wife, and accused of soliciting a former inmate to plant drugs in VanNatta’s wife’s car.