Alleged Child Molester Back Behind Bars - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Alleged Child Molester Back Behind Bars

By Al Pefley  email

West Palm Beach, FL (WFLX)

Wearing a pair of dirty overalls and a baseball cap, 50 year old Richard Jones showed up for court this afternoon.  Prosecutors have now upped the ante, increasing the charge against him from attempted sexual battery to rape of a 12 year old boy.

A judge set his bond today at $100-thousand dollars.

His release from jail several days ago stunned the victim's mother.

"I was horrified. Because how can I protect my son if I don't know that this guy is here in the neighborhood?" she said.  We are not naming her to protect her son's identity.

She says no one, not the West Palm Beach police who arrested Jones, or the state attorney's office called to alert her that Jones was getting out.  She learned he was out of jail, only after her son saw him walking in the neighborhood.

Prosecutors say the reason Jones was released is because police did not file their investigative paperwork within the required 30 day window, so the judge had no choice but to turn him loose.

The police chief tells us it was an unfortunate mishap.

"We'll certainly ensure that nothing like this ever happens again and we do take responsibility," said West Palm Beach Police Chief Delsa Bush.

She says the officer who did not file the paperwork in time with the state attorney's office is a dedicated detective, who was recently heralded in the media for her efforts in solving a cold-case murder of a five year old child.

"This particular investigator is good at what she does and she takes her job very seriously. We will certainly do a thorough investigation as to what has happened and we will implement, you know, changes in our policy if we can to prevent anything like this from ever happening again," Chief Bush said.

Jones is accused of raping a 12 year old boy behind a vacant house on Pinewood Avenue March 8. He was interrupted by three men walking on some railroad tracks nearby who heard the boy moaning and grabbed and held Jones until police arrived.

He's been arrested at least 15 times, including charges of armed robbery, burglary, escape and selling drugs. Jones is now behind bars for rape. 

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