52-year-old Richard Hill was sentenced in 4th Judicial District Court Thursday on a 2nd Degree Sexual Abuse of a Minor, a charge to which he plead guilty in late April. Hill had admitted to having sexual intercourse in 2008 with a girl who was then only 13 years old.
Prosecuting attorney for the State, Sheridan County Attorney Matt Redle, minced no words when recommending that Judge Fenn give Hill the maximum sentence allowed by law according to the degree of the charge.
Redle, clearly moved on behalf of the victim, told Judge John Fenn that Hill had an extensive criminal history in every decade for the last four decades, most of them dealing with theft or forgery. Redle then told the Court, “Hill's crimes beg the question, 'What did he [Hill] take from the victim?' Her childhood, and not only that, he left her pregnant at 13. The victim gave birth to a daughter, who was placed into adoption, and the victim was placed into foster care.”
Redle went on to say that the victim's mother, who at the time was Hill's girlfriend, “took his side, calling her daughter a liar and later marrying her daughter's attacker. This left the victim to pick up the pieces. One can only imagine how this will affect this little girl for the rest of her life.”
Hill's attorney, Erin Wardell, acknowledged that while Hill does have an extensive criminal history, he's never done anything like this crime, and asked Judge Fenn to consider a sentence of eight to twelve years. Judge Fenn rejected the request, and sentenced Hill to not less than seventeen and not more than twenty years in the State Penitentiary, as well as having to pay various court costs and attorney fees. The sentence is 90% of the maximum allowed by state statute.
When asked if restitution to the victim was requested, Redle told the Court that the victim is undergoing counseling in another state, and that that state is paying for those costs.