Friday, July 28, 2000

Sex abuse trial begins on Monday

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        GEORGETOWN, Ohio — A Mount Orab man will be tried Monday on 20 charges that he sexually abused his stepdaughter for four years, starting when she was 9 years old.

        Richard Kniepp, 47, faces two counts of rape, eight counts of felony penetration, eight counts of gross sexual imposition and two counts of sexual imposition, Brown County Prosecutor Thomas Grennan said Thursday.

        “Any time that a child is offended in a sexual way, it's horrific,” Mr. Grennan said.

        Mr. Kniepp, who has no prior felony criminal record, could receive five to 25 years in prison on each of the first 10 counts if convicted.

        The attacks allegedly occurred, Mr. Grennan said, while Mr. Kniepp was mar ried to the girl's mother. The woman is not being named to protect her daughter's identity.

        The couple divorced in 1996 — the same time the alleged abuse stopped, Mr. Grennan said.

        The allegations came to light last July, when the girl went to Brown County Family Services caseworkers, Mr. Grennan said. The agency declined to comment Thursday, citing client confidentiality.

        The girl, now about 17 years old, no longer lives with her mother, the prosecutor said.

        She will testify against Mr. Kniepp in the trial, which is expected to take two days.

        Pending the outcome of the trial, Mr. Kniepp is free on a $10,000 bond. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.


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