Man charged with sexually assaulting a minor held without bail

·2 min read

Dec. 2—HAVERHILL — A 49-year-old man who has been charged with sexually assaulting a child under the age of 14 was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Monday in Haverhill District Court.

Police said James Richardson, of 7 Griffin St., was familiar with the victim, whom he sexually assaulted multiple times in 2018.

Police charged Richardson with three counts of rape of a child with force, two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, and one count of aggravated rape of a child with an age difference of more than 10 years.

Judge Cesar Archilla ordered Richardson held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Dec. 8 via Zoom, court officials said.

The Eagle-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault without their consent.

According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, the victim's mother, who now lives in Methuen, said she only recently learned of the assault from her now 11-year-old daughter and that she immediately reported it to police, who investigated the allegations.

The victim told police that Richardson made her perform various sexual acts when she visited him at his Winter Street apartment and that the assaults occurred multiple times.

She also told police that Richardson bribed her with money and toys so she would not tell anyone about what was taking place. She told police that Richardson told her that if she said anything, they would get into trouble and that he would go to jail, the report said.

During an interview with a victim witness advocate, a representative of the Department of Children and Families and an Essex County assistant district attorney, the girl said she did not understand what was happening to her during the times she was assaulted, but now that she is older and is experiencing "flashbacks" she is able to explain the details of what Richardson forced her do, according to the police report.

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