Guilty plea in federal sex case

Man entices local girl, 14

By Bryan Marshall

Register News Writer

Richmond Register

Richmond, KY

July 17 , 2008

LEXINGTON — A Green County man pleaded guilty last Friday in U.S. District Court to using a computer to entice a 14-year-old Madison County girl to engage in sexual activity.

Timothy Scott Richerson, a former youth minister at Freedom Baptist Church in Campbellsville, originally pleaded not guilty to the charges in March.

He has reached a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but the recommended sentence in the plea is “under seal and not for public dissemination,” said Kyle Edelen, U.S. Attorney’s Office public affairs.

He originally faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

However, any sentence following conviction would have been imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of sentences.

Richerson, who was 39 at the time, allegedly began communicating via computer with a 14-year-old Madison County girl during the summer of 2007 using MSN Messenger.

During this time, he had two MySpace pages, one of which listed him as a 16-year-old male.

After communicating online, Richerson and the teenager met in person at a fair in western Kentucky.

They then continued to chat online with many of their chats sexual in nature, according to the plea agreement.

Richerson also communicated with the young female, who told him her age, by text messages and talking on the phone.

“(Richerson) repeatedly talked with the 14-year-old female online in detail about sexual acts he wanted to engage in with her,” the plea agreement states.

“The defendant made the 14-year-old female a video of himself masturbating and sent it to her via e-mail,” the agreement also states.

Within a week in September 2007, Richerson traveled on motorcycle from western Kentucky to the female’s residence.

During the first visit, Richerson and the female allegedly went for a motorcycle ride together and kissed.
Six days later, he made the trip again to Madison County.

“They went on a motorcycle ride together and when they were alone together, the defendant digitally penetrated the 14-year-old female and she rubbed his penis,” the plea agreement states.

After meeting in person, Richerson and the female continued to have sexually explicit chats online.

The teenager’s mother became suspicious after Richerson’s second visit and inspected her daughter’s telephone, the plea agreement states.

She discovered approximately 40 sexually explicit text messages from Richerson and called the Richmond Police Department.

After the mother gave police the computer in the residence, a forensic examination found many of the sexually explicit chats and three videos of Richerson masturbating.

A search of Richerson’s residence also discovered numerous computers and related equipment, several CDs, including several pornographic videos, at least one of which contained known images of child pornography.

A few days after the search, Richerson’s wife told police she found additional items of evidence, including a printed Map Quest search from the defendant’s residence to the victim’s residence, a condom and a school picture of the 14-year-old victim, after they completed their search.

Richerson was arrested Oct. 12 in Greensburg by Kentucky State Police Detective Clyde Bertram.

The investigation was conducted by Richmond Police and the Kentucky State Police, Electronic Crimes Section, which is the regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

The case was brought as part of the Eastern District of Kentucky’s efforts pursuant to Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative dedicated to protecting children from online exploitation and abuse.

Sentencing proceedings for Richerson are set for 9:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 3, in the U.S. District Court in Lexington.

SNAP Note:  Freedom Baptist Church in Campbellsville, Kentucky, is shown as an SBC-affiliated church.