Mariposa man sentenced for abducting, sexually abusing Oregon minor he met online

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Thursday, January 5, 2023

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Mariposa man has been sentenced to prison for abducting and sexually abusing a minor from Oregon whom he met online.

On Thursday, officials announced 26-year-old Richard Dearing was sentenced to more than 15 months in prison, followed by a life term of supervised release.

Court documents show authorities started searching for a girl reported missing by her family in August 2020. They found messages between the girl and Dearing.

Police talked to Dearing about the girl's possible location. That same day, she walked into the Merced County Sheriff's Office and told deputies she ran away from home.

Authorities say that story was fake and coerced by Dearing to save himself.

The girl was eventually reunited with her family in Oregon.

Investigators discovered the two met on Omege in June 2020 and continued talking on Instagram. Chats showed that Dearing knew the girl was a minor and continued the conversation.

Dearing drove over 600 miles to Oregon to the girl's house and had a plan to keep her from being tracked.

He took the girl to a hotel in Oregon and sexually abused her, later taking her back to California with him.

Dearing eventually dropped off the girl at a police station.

He was charged in January of 2021 with attempted sexual exploitation of a child, transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

Three months later, a federal grand jury in Eugene returned an indictment against Dearing. He was sentenced on Thursday.