An Athens County grand jury on Monday indicted a local man on 32 felony child pornography counts. Even without these charges, the man is a multiple sex offender.
Richard Adams, 74, at one time a prominent Nelsonville resident, Boy Scout leader and youth basketball coach, was arrested on Tuesday, July 2, at his home just outside of Athens after the Athens County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant.
Adams was incarcerated from 1989 to 1993 on multiple gross sexual imposition charges (non-consensual sexual touching) relating to a minor, and again from 1999 to 2011 for multiple sexual-assault crimes also involving minors. He was classified as a habitual sexual offender in 1999 (before the current three-tiered sex-offender registration system).
Adams was indicted this Monday on 31 second-degree felony counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor and one count of pandering obscenity involving a minor (also a second-degree felony), according to a release from Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn’s office.
Adams was arrested July 2 after the Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on his home at Hawks Road (near the intersection of Ohio Rts. 13 and 550 near Athens’ northern border), after the Sheriff’s Office received a tip from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force about Adams’ online activity.
“The Sheriff’s Office seized electronic equipment and obtained search warrants for those devices,” a sheriff’s release from last week reads. “Detectives conducted an initial search of one item seized which contained both still images and videos of child pornography.”
As of Wednesday morning, Adams was being held at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on a $500,000 bond.
Blackburn said in the release that the charges so far are “the result of the findings from just one electronic item belonging to Adams. Additional items are in the process of being analyzed and investigation is continuing, which could result in additional charges.”
After being released from prison in 1993, Adams was again convicted in 1999 on a felony count of gross sexual imposition and a felony count of sexual battery. Then, in 2005 he pleaded guilty to three additional charges (two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of rape), which extended his time in prison to 2011.
“The charges stem from sexual contact he had in 1999 with a boy who at the time was 9 years old. He was indicted earlier this year for the offense,” The NEWS reported in 2005.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokesperson Sara French said that Adams was not paroled by the Ohio Parole Board. He served his full 12-year sentence, with an August 2011 release. He also received a “favorable final release” from post-release control after five years.
Blackburn asked anyone who might need assistance from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Victims Assistance Office relating to this or other cases to call 740-592-3208.
Adams is scheduled to be arraigned in Athens County Common Pleas Court on July 17.