News

Phoenix Man Indicted for Stalking a Woman in Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted David Charles Richards, age 49, of Phoenix, Arizona, today on charges of stalking a woman in Maryland.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The indictment alleges that from December 2006 through November 2011, Richards has been using the internet, telephone, electronic mail and the U.S. mail to stalk a woman in Maryland, including threatening to kill the woman. According to court documents, Richards and the victim met and began dating when the victim was 15 and Richards was 25 years old. According to court documents, the relationship was troubled and at times physically abusive. Richards and the victim were married in July 1991, and lived in Anne Arundel County. Within 10 weeks of their marriage, Richards told the victim that he had been arrested for assault and the victim told Richards to leave the residence and that she was going to seek a divorce. According to court documents, Richards did not contest the proceedings.

According to court documents, after not having any contact with the victim for almost 15 years, in June 2006, Richards contacted the victim’s sister telling her that he will stay connected to the victim and he will never stop as, “he has reclaimed his wife as of today.” Beginning in July 2006, and during each subsequent year, the victim has sought and been granted protective orders forbidding Richards to contact her. On December 11, 2006, the victim discovered that a website had been created in her name, which included a countdown clock to the expiration of the protective order the victim had taken out against Richards and other threatening material. In December 2009, Richards allegedly tore up one of the protective orders that was served upon him and mailed the torn pieces to the victim’s home. Court documents also detail repeated threats that Richards has posted on websites directed at the victim, including threats as recently at November 2011. The indictment alleges that Richards threatened and harassed the victim over a period of five years through telephone messages, emails, packages sent through the U.S. mail, as well as through the posting of messages and recordings on websites Richards created in the name of the victim.

Richards faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for stalking. An initial appearance was held this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Richards is detained.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI agents in Baltimore and Phoenix for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Kristi N. O’Malley, who is prosecuting the case.


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