CLEARFIELD — Richard L. Howell, 29, of Clearfield, who is accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl, waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge James Glass yesterday at Centralized Court held at the Clearfield County Jail.
Howell is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child — a felony of the first degree; indecent assault of a person of a person less than 13 years old, and corruption of minors — both of which are felonies of the third degree.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on April 24, the 8-year-old female was interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center in Clearfield. The child said Howell picked her up in his truck at her residence and drove her to his home in Clearfield. While in the vehicle she said Howell made her perform a sex act.
Afterwards, he took her to McDonald’s and bought her some ice cream and then to Walmart to buy a toy as rewards.
She said this occurred on two other occasions in his residence.
During arguments on bail, Howell’s attorney, Ryan Sayers, argued that Howell’s bail should be reduced from $100,000 monetary so he can be released from jail and go back to work.
However, Trooper David Patrick, criminal investigator, said he feared the defendant would attempt to have contact with the victim, perhaps through a third party.
Sayers said the court could order Howell to not have contact with the victim and noted that the defendant has cut off all contact with the victim on his own without the court order, and there is no evidence that he has contacted the girl.
Glass said he understands that the defendant wants to get out of jail and go back to work but has grave concerns.
“This scares me to death,” Judge Glass said. “She is only 8 years old. I want some protection for this little girl.”
Glass then set bail at $50,000 monetary.
As of yesterday, Howell did not post bail and he remains incarcerated in the Clearfield County Jail.