Athens County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

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A local man who was once a well-known community youth leader is facing multiple counts of felony child pornography. 

Richard Adams [Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail]
Richard Adams, 74, of Athens, Ohio was arrested on July 2 after the Sheriff’s Office carried out a search warrant at his home at 11371 Hawks Road with help from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

“These charges are the result of the findings from just one electronic item belonging to Adams,” Prosecutor Keller J. Blackburn said in a release.

According to Sheriff Rodney Smith, the devices held still images and videos of child pornography.

Adams was charged with one count of pandering obscenity involving a minor, a felony of the second degree and 31 counts of pandering sexually-orientated matter involving a minor or impaired person, also a second-degree felony.

According to the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Adams has a history of inappropriate sexual contact with minors.

From 1989 to 1993, Adams was in jail after being convicted of multiple counts of gross sexual imposition charges.

He was imprisoned again from 1999 to 2011, after being convicted of four counts of gross sexual imposition, one count of sexual battery and one count of rape. 

After his most recent conviction, Adams was classified by the courts as a habitual sexual offender and was ordered to register once a year annually for 23 years. 

“My office is going to do everything we can to protect victims of sexual abuse,” Keller said. “The Sheriff’s office and my office are working closely together to investigate.”

Adams is currently being held in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on a $500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear before Judge George P. McCarthy on July 17 for arraignment. 

The investigation is ongoing and Blackburn says this could result in additional charges.