Former Great Mills Man Convicted of Sexual Assault Against Child - Southern Maryland Headline News

Former Great Mills Man Convicted of Sexual Assault Against Child

By David Noss

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Nov. 7, 2008) – Richard Allen Richardson, 23, formerly of Great Mills, was convicted today for sexually violating a male child under the age of ten in 2006. A jury found Allen guilty of attempted second degree sexual offense and third degree sexual offense in the court room of Judge C. Clarke Raley.

A subsequent internet search for background information about Richardson for this article revealed Richardson’s page where he professes to be a homosexual who enjoys “alot of sex.”

The offense occurred on Sept. 23, 2006 in the Great Mills home where Richardson resided with his father, Bradley Richardson, and step mother, herein referred to as STEPMOTHER to protect the victim’s identity. Richardson was 21 years-old at the time.

According to testimony, there were no direct witnesses to the crime. The prosecution presented physical evidence which included Richardson’s underwear and the child’s pull-up diaper. DNA evidence submitted by the State demonstrated the child’s blood and Richardson’s semen on both garments.

Foul play was first suspected by STEPMOTHER when she entered the home seeking the whereabouts of Richardson and other children present in the home at the time. STEPMOTHER testified that she was outside working on the carport and sent Richardson, who had been working outside with her, into the home to bring the children out to enjoy the weather.

Neither STEPMOTHER or Richardson, through their testimony, could establish how long Richardson was in the home before STEPMOTHER came to look for him.

STEPMOTHER testified that she found Richardson and the child in a bedroom and immediately sensed that something was “not right.” STEPMOTHER further testified that she noticed the child’s pull-up diaper was not properly fitted and reached down to pull it up. Upon doing so, she said that she felt a slippery substance on the back of the diaper.

STEPMOTHER continued that upon further examination, she noted a reddish-brown stain in at the top rear of the diaper. STEPMOTHER also said an examination of the child revealed significant redness of the rectal area.

An expert witness for the State subsequently identified the slippery substance as semen from the suspect and the reddish-brown stain as blood from the victim.

STEPMOTHER then told the court that she immediately called her husband and demanded that he return home immediately, advising him that there was a “situation” in the home.

Bradley Richardson returned home within a 10-20 minute window according to various testimonies.

The father told the court that after speaking with his wife, he went to his son’s bedroom in the basement and confronted his son. The conversation ended after the father demanded the son surrender his boxer briefs.

The father told the court that he had his son place the briefs into a plastic baggie. The father said he did so because of prior experience and training as a police officer.

STEPMOTHER subsequently called a friend to drive her and the child to St. Mary’s Hospital for examination, according to her testimony. STEPMOTHER took the pull-up diaper and boxer-briefs along with her, she said.

Both parents testified that they did not call police.

Once at the hospital, the victim was examined by S. Holmes, R.N., who is a S.A.F.E. nurse trained to examine rape victims, collect evidence, and subsequently testify in court, if required.

The victim was photographed, and DNA swabs were taken from the victim’s body, according to testimony.

Detective/TFC F. Dolinger, of the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations was called to the hospital where he interviewed STEPMOTHER.

Dolinger subsequently went to Richardson’s place of employment in California, Md. that evening at 9:15 p.m. to interview Richardson. Dolinger recorded audio of the interview, which was played in court. The prosecution also provided transcripts to the jury.

In the interview, Richardson calmly denied any sexual contact with the child.

Two days later, Bradley Richardson says he discovered his son with empty medication bottles. Richardson took his son to St. Mary’s Hospital.

According to the defendant’s testimony, he consumed two boxes of the over-the-counter sleeping pill, Sominex.

While at the hospital, Bradley Richardson says his son confessed twice to sodomizing the child using his finger. The prosecution asked Bradley Richardson if his son used the word “sodomized,” to which he answered yes.

Bradley Richardson further told the court that the story his son told him this time was “more believable” than his previous explanation at the home the day of the incident.

Detective Bolinger came to the hospital the following morning to interview Richardson, who had been admitted as a patient. According to hospital records, the interview took place between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m.

Bolinger told the court that shortly after starting the interview, held in private in a hospital conference room, Richardson admitted to sodomizing the child with his finger.

“My mouth dropped,” said Bolinger.

By this time, Bradley Richardson had not told Bolinger of his son’s earlier hospital confessions, according to testimony from both men.

Bolinger next said that Richardson asked for an attorney and refused to answer any more questions. Bolinger was legally required to terminate the interview at that time.

Bolinger did not capture the confession on audio tape.

Richardson disputed all three confessions in court, saying that he had no recollection of them. Richardson offered that he was told by hospital staff that he had suffered short term memory loss due to the sleeping pill overdose.

The prosecution later called this statement a “self-diagnosis” in her closing arguments.

Richardson took the stand as a defense witness and told a story similar to the one recorded by Det. Bolinger on the evening of the incident.

Under cross examination by the prosecution, Richardson denied any sexual contact with the child.

In his closing remarks, the defense counsel centered his argument around whether or not his client actually made any confessions to the father or the police in the hospital, and if he did, was he in a sound state-of-mind after the sleeping pill overdose.

Defense also argued about possible contamination of the DNA evidence. However, defense never offered an opinion of how the semen or blood would have found its way onto the garments.

The jury took approximately one hour to render a guilty verdict on both charges.

The third degree sexual offense required the jury to agree that Richardson had sexual contact with the victim’s intimate parts by means other than the penis, mouth, or tongue.

The attempted second degree sexual offense required the jury to agree that Richardson attempted to commit anal intercourse with the victim using his penis.

After the trial, Richardson was taken into the custody of the state. Sentencing will come at a future date.

The trial commenced on Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m.

The case was prosecuted by St. Mary's Assistant State's Attorney Robyn E. Riddle and defended by public defender Sean Moran.

Richardson’s father, step-mother, and natural mother attended all three days of the trial.

The victim was not present in court and did not testify through any means.

Richard Richardson had been residing with his natural mother in West Virginia prior to the trial.

Richardson’s page indicates that he is homosexual. "Why do most of the really hott [sic] guys gotta be straight?!," is one of the first things a reader comes upon. The “Details” section of the webpage reads: “Orientation: Gay.”

Under “General Interests” are rotating pictures of a shirtless young male. Part of the caption reads, “This Hot Boy.”

The last two blog entries on the page indicate a fascination with sexual activity. “Horny all the time,” read one entry. “I'm not a whore, but i have had alot of sex,” said the other.

Neither Richardson's sexual preference or information contained on the page were ever mentioned in court.

Note: Significant facts have been omitted from the reporting to protect the identity of the victim.

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