Region 8 viewers ask: Why did sex offender only serve four month - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Region 8 viewers ask: Why did sex offender only serve four months?

Posted: Updated:

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The arrest of one local sex offender has created a local social media storm.

Jonesboro Police charged John Richardson, 35 of Jonesboro, with the rape of a one-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl.

Richardson was convicted of a similar crime in 2010 and spent four months in jail. 

Viewers asked on Region 8 News' Facebook page: "Why did Richardson only serve four months?" Region 8 News investigated. 

"The corroborating evidence was minimal to nonexistent in this case," 2nd Judicial Prosecutor Scott Ellington said.

Ellington said in 2010, Richardson admitted to touching a young girl, but there was very little proof.

"With rape, there is required penetration," Ellington said. "She really didn't have anything to say. A defendant's confession or statement cannot be admitted into court without some other corroborating evidence, and we just didn't have it in this case."

Ellington said because of a lack of evidence, a judge sentenced Richardson to four months in prison and gave him five year's probation. He was also required to register as a sex offender.

Now in 2014, Richardson faces new charges. Jonesboro Police accuse him of the rape of two young girls, including a one-year-old girl.

"When we charge someone here with something, we have a reason to do it," Sgt. Cassie Brandon with JPD said.

Sgt. Brandon is investigating this case.

"This is a first for me to deal with a case like this, but we do see it occasionally," Brandon said. "It's not an everyday thing. It's definitely a shock to all of us when something like that comes through."

Richardson was assessed as a level three sex offender, with four being the highest level recognized by the state.

"Level three and level four are those prone to re-offend," Ellington said. 

"There's definitely that potential there for anybody to re-offend," Brandon said.

Richardson is currently listed as a "non-mappable offender" through the Arkansas Crime Information Center, making him more difficult for the public to find.

"In this given case, why he's listed as un-mapped, I don't know," Ellington said. "I haven't even delved into that. This is the first I've heard of it."

Wes Baxter with JPD said no registered sex offenders have re-offended in the past year.

Richardson's first court appearance on this latest charge will be in May.

Copyright 2014 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

472 Craighead Co. 766
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(870) 931-8888

FCC Public File
publicfile@kait8.com
(870) 336-1816
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KAIT. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.