Richard Adams

Richard Adams, 74, Hawks Road, Athens.

A local man was arrested Tuesday at his home outside Athens and charged with 32 felony child pornography counts after the Athens County Sheriff’s office executed a search warrant. 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 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 relating to minors. He was classified as a habitual sexual offender in 1999 (before the current three-tiered sex offender registration system).

Adams was arrested Tuesday after the Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on his home at Hawks Road (near the intersection of Ohio Rts. 13 and 550 on the North Side of Athens), 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 release from the Athens County Sheriff’s Office reads. “Detectives conducted an initial search of one item seized which contained both still images and videos of child pornography.”

So far, the release said, Adams has been charged with 31 second-degree felony counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor and one count of pandering obscenity (also a second-degree felony). As of Friday afternoon, he was being held at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on a $500,000 bond. The release said that additional charges are expected against Adams.

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.

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