Cache County man charged with 6 felonies after alleged 2020 assault on teen pleads guilty to reduced charges

Richard Royal Cornell. Photo: Cache County

CACHE COUNTY, Utah, July 14, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Providence man charged with six felonies in the March 2020 alleged assault on a woman who was 19 years old has accepted a plea deal and admitted guilt on two charges.

In court paperwork filed Tuesday, Richard Royal Cornell, now 74, pleaded guilty to:

  • Forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony
  • Forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, according to court documents.

Charges expected to be dropped as a result of the deal are:

  • A second count of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony
  • Attempted forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony
  • Object rape, a first-degree felony
  • A second count of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony

Cornell’s probable cause statement says the victim was interviewed by an officer of the Cache County Sheriff’s Office after being driven by another woman to the Community Abuse Prevention Service Agency in Logan.

The victim said Cornell had touched her under her clothing and had assaulted her after he was told to stop. He then forcibly removed her clothing, the probable cause statement says. Cornell requested sexual acts from the victim, who refused to comply, the probable cause statement says.

Eventually Cornell left the room and told the victim “not to tell anyone about what had happened,” the statement says.

The victim came to the CCSO offices, and she called Cornell on speakerphone, the probable cause statement says. The investigating officer heard and recorded the conversation.

“She confronted Richard about him sexually assaulting her and Richard apologized to her,” the probable cause statement says.

“He told her it never should have happened. He told her he had prayed about it,” and she should go home, “take a shower, and forget it ever happened.”

The change of plea paperwork says Cornell can expect to be sentenced to 5 years to life on the first count, and one to five years on the second. His sentencing date has not yet been set.


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