Man sentenced in molestation case

February 12, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

Man sentenced in molestation case

The defendant's age and ill health, plus the wishes of the victim, led Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell to impose an unusual sentence on a man convicted Tuesday of a sexual molestation that occurred 20 years ago.

Richard Lionel Bailey, 78, of 10 W. Chestnut St., was given a four-year term in prison, with all but six months suspended. That six months will be served on home detention.

"I'm happy to hear that (the victim) is forgiving you but that doesn't excuse you this disgusting offense," McDowell said.

Accompanied by Jill Ritter, victim/witness coordinator with the Washington County State's Attorney's office, the victim stood in open court and faced his molester.


"My life has been shattered by the sick and twisted lessons he taught me," he said. "He taught me that selfishness ruled and it took me 20 years to be retaught."

In late August, the victim, now in his 30s, made the allegations against Bailey for incidents he said occurred in 1977.

He said he was 13 when Bailey helped his family move and on several occasions, he was alone with Bailey at the new house in Washington County, police reports said.

The victim said he told Bailey he had a headache and that Bailey volunteered to "rub his headache away."

The victim said he was fondled by Bailey in the genital area, both on a couch and then in a bedroom. Oral sex also was alleged to have occurred, police reports said.

"I've had one divorce, a separation from my current wife, numerous affairs and one attempt on my life," the man said.

He ended his statement with a warning to parents to protect their children.

"People need to know about the Richard Baileys out there."

Investigator Chris Weaver of the Washington County Sheriff's Department interviewed Bailey in early October.

Bailey was silent Tuesday at his trial. In exchange for his guilty plea to a third-degree sex offense, a second-degree sex offense count was dismissed.

Defense attorney Edward Kuczynski said Bailey, a Fairchild retiree after 41 years, has no prior criminal record.

Kuczynski described Bailey as a churchgoer who was involved in scouting and youth sports.

In addition to the home detention, McDowell fined Bailey $100, placed him on probation for 18 months and ordered him to pay current and future counseling costs for the victim.

"Even at your age ... even though it was 20 years ago, there needs to be retribution," McDowell said.

He said he didn't want to jail the man because his medical problems would be costly to taxpayers.

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