Brookfield man pleads guilty to sexual assaults
Sentenced to life in prison with chance for parole after 10 years
WARREN — A Brookfield man pleaded guilty on Friday to 14 felony counts connected to more than two years of sexual assaults of a young girl family member.
He immediately was sentenced to life in prison with his first chance of parole after serving 10 years.
Robert E. Richards Jr., 53, of Stewart Sharon Road, pleaded guilty to six counts of rape that carry life sentences plus eight more counts of gross sexual imposition.
According to prosecutors, the charges deal with the abuse of a girl who was 6 when the offenses began on Dec. 19, 2019, and continued through October 2021. The victim’s family members were in court for the hearing before Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge W. Wyatt McKay but did not issue any statements.
Richards was scheduled for a hearing Friday to suppress evidence in an upcoming trial but decided instead for a plea hearing.
McKay also labeled Richards a Tier 3 sexual offender, which means if he is released from prison, he would have to register his address with the local sheriff’s office every 90 days for the rest of his life.
According to Trumbull County assistant Prosecutor Gabriel Wildman, the charges involved the grooming, touching and fondling of the child as well as oral sex. Wildman credited the investigative efforts of the Brookfield Police Department for helping to resolve the case.
Records show Richards was named in a secret indictment handed up by the county grand jury, and he has been incarcerated since Dec. 22, 2021.
Neither Richards nor his public defender, attorney Carlo Ciccone, made any statements to the judge during the hearing.