Former acting chief pleads guilty
to charges of sex with minor

(MONTESANO, Ore.) -- A former Cosmopolis acting police chief has pleaded guilty to four of 26 sex charges involving a minor in a series of incidents that began when the victim was 7 or 8 years old.

Aaron T. Richards' plea agreement was accepted by a Grays Harbor Superior Court judge on Friday.

Deputy Prosecutor Paul Conroy said he will ask for a sentence at the high end of the range -- nearly 20 years in prison -- at sentencing on Dec. 4.

Richards, 56, of Aberdeen pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree child rape, one count of first-degree child molestation and one count of possession of child pornography.

He told the court Friday he still loves the victim, now a teen-ager. Conroy called that claim "repulsive."

The prosecutor said he agreed to the deal because he did not want to put the victim through a trial "where she would have to watch very explicit videos of her having sex with this guy."

In the 1970s, Richards worked as a bus driver for the Cosmopolis School District and served briefly as the city's acting police chief in 1975.

Police and prosecutors say he had sex with the girl repeatedly over a period of several years, and twice arranged for a friend to have sex with her.

(iSyndicate; The Oregonian; Nov. 7, 2000) Terms and Conditions: Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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