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Marshal's Service seeks man wanted on sexual assault charges in Washington County, Md., Berkeley County, W.Va.

December 22, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • Richard "Ricky" Brightwell Jr.
By U.S. Department of Justice United States Marshals Services

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Authorities Wednesday were seeking the public's help in locating a man wanted in Berkeley County, W.Va., and Washington County on charges of sexually assaulting female juveniles, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

It is believed Richard "Ricky" Ernest Brightwell Jr., 32, is in the South Berkeley County area or in Frederick, Md., and may be staying with family or friends, Deputy U.S. Marshal Mike Ulrich said in a news release.

The U.S. Marshals Service Mountain State Fugitive Task Force has been helping sheriff's deputies in Berkeley County and Washington County, Md., in the search for Brightwell, Ulrich said.

Brightwell is 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs about 180 pounds and has brown eyes and black hair, authorities said.

In Berkeley County, Brightwell is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl on Sept. 2 at the old Barnhart's supermarket in Inwood, W.Va., according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

An arrest warrant issued on Sept. 16 by Magistrate Joan V. Bragg charges Brightwell with second-degree sexual assault, the court records said.   

The warrant indicates Brightwell's address at that time was 208 N. Potomac St., Hagerstown, the records said.

The victim told police she didn't know Brightwell before she and another girl met with the defendant and another man after the girls skipped school on Sept. 2, the records said.

The girls wanted alcohol and Brightwell purchased a bottle of tequila at a nearby liquor store, the records said.

The victim told police she passed out after drinking a substantial amount of tequila, but remembered waking up with Brightwell behind her, touching her while her pants and underwear were down to her knees, the records said.

Information on the Washington County case or cases was not available Wednesday.

Anyone with information about Brightwell can contact Ulrich at 304-267-7179.

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