Target 11 Exclusive: Foster father accused of impregnating child in Pittsburgh facing new charges

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A foster father accused of raping two foster children decades ago is now in jail, facing new charges in Cleveland, Ohio.

This is a major update to a story Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle has been following for years.

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Carl Gilbert was arrested in Maine on charges of rape, sexual battery and endangering a child. He was extradited to Cleveland and jailed on $100,000 bond.

In Ohio, Gilbert is accused of sexually assaulting his 11-year-old foster son, who he adopted. Joe Gilbert, who is 32 now, told Target 11 last year that Carl Gilbert began assaulting him when he was 11 years old. He said it went on until he turned 15.

“I’m just really happy that they’re going to go ahead and move forward with this. There was a point in time when I thought a lot of people didn’t believe me on it,” said Joe Gilbert.

Earle’s investigation into all of these allegations began two years ago, when he interviewed Carlina Freeman about the unsolved murder of her sister, Jessica.

During that interview, Freeman told Earle a bizarre story about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted beginning at the age of 9 by the couple she went to live with in McKeesport after her mother passed away, more than 30 years ago.

Freeman said her foster father, Carl Gilbert, impregnated her when she was 14. Freeman said she initially lied about it, but later told her CYF caseworker the truth.

Freeman also showed Earle a court order identifying Gilbert as the father along with a DNA test confirming it. But Freeman said nothing was ever done about it. No charges were ever filed.

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CYF declined to comment.

Sources told Target 11 it’s unclear what happened regarding why this case was never investigated. Sources said it apparently slipped through the cracks.

Earle then went to Allegheny County Police and told him what he had discovered. They eventually charged Carl Gilbert and his ex-wife, Matilda Omiecinski, with raping and sexually assaulting Freeman.

Carl Gilbert was arrested in Maine and then returned to Pittsburgh to face charges. His ex-wife was living outside Cleveland and she was arrested and brought back to Pittsburgh as well.

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After a preliminary hearing, both were held for court, but a judge ruled the statute of limitations had expired and dismissed all of the charges. Both were released from jail.

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Target 11 also spoke with Joe Gilbert, Carlina’s nephew, who said he too was sexually assaulted by Carl Gilbert. Joe Gilbert filed a complaint with Cleveland Police and they launched an investigation. In October, they filed new charges against Carl Gilbert.

Freeman said she was disappointed with the Judge’s decision in her case here in Pittsburgh, but she’s pleased that the case in Ohio involving her nephew is proceeding forward.

“I’m not going to say it’s discouraging, and I’m not going to say it’s hard because I had my time. I had my time to heal. And the only thing, like I always tell everybody, I have God in my heart. The only thing I can do is what God wants me to do is to forgive. But God has the last word, and I believe God is going to turn it over to where I don’t feel so disappointed,” said Freeman.

Joe Gilbert said his aunt has been his guiding light.

“She’s been with me by my side through this all. So that will help her as well, and it’ll help me and we can come together on this and hopefully get justice for both of us,” said Joe Gilbert.

Gilbert remains in jail in Cleveland on $100,000 bond. He was arraigned Friday and will appear in court next week for a pretrial hearing.

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