Laurel man convicted in sexual abuse of child

October 24, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

An Anne Arundel Circuit Court jury convicted a Laurel boat mechanic yesterday of sexual child abuse and sex offenses for forcing his girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter to have bondage sex with him.

Richard Wilson, who denied the abuse but testified that he enjoyed bondage sex, shook his head as he was pronounced guilty of sexual child abuse, sodomy and second- and third-degree sex offenses.

Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. immediately revoked his bond, and the burly 50-year-old was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated 5 1/2 hours before reaching a verdict that said they believed the child was abused beginning in early 1990.

The girl testified that Wilson began forcing her to undress and commit sexual acts shortly after he moved in with the family. The girl testified that the abuse occurred about two or three times a week, while her mother worked nights as a supermarket clerk. On most occasions, Wilson used the same handcuffs, blindfolds and other devices that he used with the girl's mother, according to testimony.

The girl testified that the defendant threatened to kill her if she told anyone, and that when she once told her mother, she "thought I was lying." The girl said the abuse continued for about a year until she told her baby sitter, who reported it.

When he took the stand to testify, Wilson admitted to enjoying bondage sex, and showed his familiarity with sexual paraphernalia confiscated from the house.

The mother, who testified as a defense witness and still lives with Wilson, recalled her daughter saying one Saturday morning in 1991 that she "had played a funny game" with the boyfriend the night before that involved him tying her up.

The mother said Wilson admitted touching the girl sexually and she yelled at him and told her daughter to tell her if anything else happened. She said she came to believe the abuse was an isolated incident when months went by and her daughter reported nothing else when asked.

Wilson was charged March 27 after the baby sitter called the mother, then took her to the sitter's house, where the girl revealed the lurid details.

The mother said under cross-examination that she was so "shocked" she couldn't remember the details of that conversation. But she admitted to taking her daughter back to the apartment they shared with the defendant and doing nothing about it. She also said that she was "not totally convinced" her daughter was telling the truth.

She was unaware authorities had been contacted until she received a phone call at work a few days later, saying her daughter and 12-year-old son were in the protective custody of the Department of Social Services. Both children now live out of state with their father and stepmother.

In closing arguments, defense attorney David R. Solomon called his client a "slave to bondage," who might be psychologically "out of sorts." But he asked jurors to put aside any biases toward him because he admitted to enjoying bondage sex.

Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen E. Rogers told jurors the girl had been physically hurt by the defendant.

"He did everything imaginable to that little girl," the prosecutor said.

Sentencing is scheduled Dec. 7.

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