Local News

New charges filed in Smithfield child torture case

Posted June 10, 2011 4:03 p.m. EDT

— A Smithfield man charged last year with torturing a 4-year-old girl who later died now faces child sex charges in the case.

A Johnston County grand jury this week indicted Jonathan Douglas Richardson on charges of child rape and sexual offense with a child.

Richardson, 22, of 750 Old Sanders Road, was charged last July with first-degree murder and child abuse in connection with the death of Teghan Skiba.

Teghan died of blunt force head injuries, and authorities said she had cuts, lacerations, bite marks and sexual assault injuries.

The girl had been living with her mother, Helen Reyes, and Richardson in a barn on his grandparents' property for four weeks before Reyes left her in his care to go to New Mexico for military training.

Richardson told Johnston County investigators that he "lost it" and whipped the girl with a cord after she went to the bathroom in the bed they were sharing, according to search warrants. He explained that he is "bipolar and little things set him off."

Investigators said they determined that the physical abuse of Teghan, which included forcing her to consume alcohol, started before Reyes left town.

Reyes, 26, of 5255 Passenger Place in Raleigh, is charged with negligent child abuse in connection with her daughter's death.