Local News

Man could face more charges in child torture case

Posted July 19, 2010

— A man accused of torturing a 4-year-old girl left in his care could face more charges, Johnston County authorities said Monday.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Jonathan Douglas Richardson, 21, of Old Sanders Road, Friday on a charge of felony child abuse after he took the girl to a local hospital and claimed she had fallen off a bed.

Hospital workers contacted law enforcement authorities, Sheriff Steve Bizzell said, after finding the child had cuts, lacerations, bite marks and signs of sexual assault.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Tammy Amaon said Monday that authorities are still investigating and that further charges haven't been ruled out.

The girl, who also suffered severe head trauma, was in critical condition Monday at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Meanwhile, Richardson made a first court appearance on the felony child abuse charge. A Johnston County judge left his bond at $1 million and ordered that he be appointed a public defender.

Jonathan Douglas Richardson More charges possible in child torture case

Authorities haven't said how long the child was in Richardson's care, but arrest warrants indicate the dates of the offense from July 14 to July 16.

Bizzell said the girl's mother had been away for military training but has since returned to be with her daughter.

"(This is) one of the worst cases of torture of a child that we have ever investigated," Bizzell said in an interview Saturday.

"I have detectives out here, professional law enforcement officers, who are saddened by this. It is just unreal," he added. "We can not imagine someone who would do this to such a young child."


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  • vger13 Jul 22, 2010

    we go again..bad childhood,mean father,missing mother,bipolar,i am so sick of it every time a crime is commented anymore there is always a reason other than just plain MEAN AND EVIL what he did there is no excuses for.i guess the public,media,and justice system have a hard time dealing with people..sorry i meant a sorry excuse for a life form like him.i am sure others feel the same as me believe me when he gets in jail..he wont last long

  • alwaysCool Jul 19, 2010

    The mother is just as guilty. She left that baby with him. She knew when she signed up in the Reserves, that she was required to provide a responsible adult to care for her child. Social Services needs to charge the mom with failure to provide a safe environment & contribution to the assualt. Let her loose her parental rights to this child.

  • delilahk2000 Jul 19, 2010


  • UPTOP Jul 19, 2010

    If only someone knew why all that happened, happened.That guy didn't just get sick like that there had to be signs somewhere before this !!

  • Butterfly Jul 19, 2010

    I am sure the mother is sick over this and wishes she could go back and do things differently. Sadly she can not. As parents it is our job to protect our children and make the best possible decisions for our children. We are not allowed to make mistakes when it comes to our children. I have no idea how this woman even remotely felt okay or justified in her mind leaving her child with this man. I hope and pray this child lives and with lots of therapy will be able to survive emotionally. Hopefully the mother will learn from this huge error in judgment she made and be a better mother and protector to her child.

  • anastasia Jul 19, 2010

    Okay, I totally agree with all the comments about the mother. It is her responsibility to keep her child safe. But what about this guys grandparents? Who allows anyone to live in a shed without water or a toilet? And who allows a woman and child to move in? This 'shed' was very close to the grandparents home. I can't believe they didn't know a child was living in their shed. Did they never check on this child after the mother left? They knew their grandson had a LONG record, and had an assault on a female prior. Why didn't these grandparents at least check in on the little girl? Where did she get water? Where was she bathed? If a child was living in my backyard shed I would certainly check on her welfare. Of course no child is going to live in my shed to begin with, but why didn't these grandparents know/do anything?

  • UPTOP Jul 19, 2010

    I think the Mom has to look in the mirror everyday from here on out and wonder what if I had done something different, according to the news she only knew him 6-months therefore she was blind to his real, sick side.I'm sure the biological Father whishes he had made some different choices,if he had he'd be able to hold his little girl while she's fighting for her life right now !! My heart goes out to the little girl who never hurt a soul....

  • meBNme Jul 19, 2010

    babbleon, there is no condition that soldier moms face that can warrant such situation as is reported in this story.

    I am so pro military that most folks here would think me overboard, but there is NO REASON the mother could present to warrant this.

  • Ladybug Jul 19, 2010

    We are very curious to hear what the Mother of this little girl has to say. Why would she leave a 4 yr. old GIRL with a 21 yr old boyfriend in a so-called apartment with no running water or restroom? I hope Child Protective Services is investigating her as well.

  • mshood7 Jul 19, 2010

    I hope they both get justice and justice would be for the both of them to rot in hail! This is inexcusable and gabbleon..you need to get a grip or maybe a life.