Court Documents: Local Man Admits To Sexual Offenses
According to court papers, a local man has admitted to Newtown police that he committed sexual offenses against four children, all under the age of 16, during the past several years.
As a result of their investigation into complaints filed on July 8 by those childrens' parents, Newtown police on the morning of Monday, July 31, arrested on a warrant Richard Saunders, 72, of 151 Huntingtown Road. Police lodged 12 charges against Mr Saunders, of four counts each of risk of injury to a child, illegal sexual contact, and fourth-degree sexual assault.
Through their arrest warrant application to the court, police had sought eight charges against Mr Saunders - four of which are felonies and four of which are misdemeanors. The court, however, returned to police a warrant with 12 charges, eight of which are felonies and four of which are misdemeanors.
The police's arrest warrant application implies that the complaints were lodged by more than one family.
After police notified Mr Saunders that they held a warrant for his arrest, he went to the police station and surrendered. Police held him on $100,000 bail for an arraignment later that day in state Superior Court in Danbury.
The parents' complaints to police basically stated that Mr Saunders had been inappropriately touching the children and exposing himself to them, according to the court papers.
Locations where the incidents occurred included Mr Saunders' residence, a victim's residence, two businesses in Brookfield, and Hershey, Penn., according to the court documents.
According to the court papers, when interviewed by police on July 8, Mr Saunders said, "I inappropriately touched... I take full responsibility. They're just kids. It was just my stupidity, and not having enough strength to resist and not do it."
In court on July 31, Mr Saunders pleaded not guilty to all 12 charges. A judge maintained his bail at $100,000. Saunders is free on bail and scheduled to return to court on August 28 for a pretrial hearing.
Mr Saunders is represented by attorney Walter Shalvoy of Newtown. Asked to comment on the pending case, Mr Shalvoy said August 1, "I'm not able to comment on pending litigation."
School Resource Officer William Chapman, acting as the police department's youth officer, investigated the allegations against Mr Saunders.