Columbus Grove man faces life in prison on rape charges

By J Swygart -

LIMA — A Columbus Grove man who prosecutors say sexually assaulted a young boy over a span of several years — starting when the alleged victim was approximately seven years of age — pleaded not guilty Monday in Allen County Common Pleas Court to 13 sex-related charges.

Richard Byrd, 62, was indicted by the August term of the Allen County grand jury on 10 counts of first-degree felony rape, two counts of sexual battery, third-degree felonies, and one count of gross sexual imposition, also a felony of the third degree.

Judge Jeffrey Reed said four of the rape charges include the allegation that the victim in the case was less than 10 years old at the time of the incidents. Reed said a conviction on any of those counts carries the maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The remaining rape counts each carry maximum possible penalties of 15 years to life, while the maximum penalty for each of the third-degree felonies is five years in prison.

According to a written report by Detective Callie Basinger of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, the young boy was sexually assaulted numerous times while he was between the ages of seven and 14. The incidents in question reportedly took place at Lake Cody, 5775 Ottawa Road, Lima.

When the boy reached the age of 14, Basinger’s report states, he threatened his attacker and the assaults subsequently stopped. During an interview with authorities in June of this year, Byrd reportedly admitted performing various sex acts with and upon the alleged victim.

Byrd is being held in the Allen County jail on $500,000 bond. His next scheduled court appearance is a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 6.

By J Swygart

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

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