Sex offender charged with assault of one year old, fiance arrested

John David Richardson (Source: Arkansas Crime Information Center)
John David Richardson (Source: Arkansas Crime Information Center)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Investigators have determined that the Jonesboro man arrested on April 4 for sexual assault, had a second victim.

On April 3rd, a detective with Trumann police told Jonesboro Police that a 12 year-old girl called claiming John Richardson, age 35 of Jonesboro, had raped her.

The girl also told officers there were explicit messages in a thread between Richardson and her on Facebook.

Jonesboro police found he was a registered sex offender from a 2010 charge. He pled guilty in that case and was in prison for 4 months. Officers found Richardson was still on probation from that case.

Richardson was asked to come to the police station and admitted to talk to officers without a lawyer present. While being questioned, he claimed the relationship with the 12 year old was not sexual.

A short time later, he eventually told police he had been texting the girl and had received naked pictures and videos of the girl.

Police say they arrested Richardson after he later admitted to raping the girl.

Jonesboro police searched his home and seized his cell phone and laptop computer. The officer with Trumann police handed over 152 printed pages of Facebook messages and a Kindle with the pictures, to Jonesboro police.

Richardson was taken to the Craighead County Detention Center. He was given a temporary bond of $150,000 and was placed on probation hold.

On Tuesday, John Richardson's fiancee, Barbara Baltzell, 30, was questioned about Richardson's relationship with the 12-year-old girl.

Although police saw there were Facebook messages between Baltzell and the 12 year old, she claimed Richardson must have sent the messages on her account and said she was unaware of their relationship.

Baltzwell later admitted to police she was aware of the relationship Richardson and the girl had. She also said she knew deep down it was inappropriate, but did not want to see Richardson go to prison.

She told police that Richardson had babysat a one-year-old girl before. Baltzwell was arrested and charged with a felony for hindering apprehension.

The parents of the one year old were contacted and they told police that he did baby sit their daughter one time when they both had to work and had no one else to leave her with. They also said after that one day, the girl never acted the same towards Richardson, but they didn't think much of it.

He was taken back to the Craighead County Detention Center on a second charged of rape and manufacturing child pornography.

Richardson appeared before a judge for a probable cause hearing in regards to his charges of rape, distributing, possessing or viewing matter involving sexual conduct with a child, and computer child exploitation.

He had an additional bond was set at $150,000.

Richardson's pretrial has been continued to August 22. A trial has been set for September 8.

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