A registered sex offender from Rigby has been arrested for lewd conduct with a minor.
Richard Laurence Bishop, 48, was arrested March 1 after a family reported Bishop had inappropriately touched and raped a 9-year-old girl he was babysitting.
Bishop pleaded guilty in 1995 to lewd conduct with a child under 16 and was required to register as a sex offender.
During a forensic interview the victim said Bishop had touched her inappropriately after she came home from school, and that he had kissed her on multiple occasions, according to a probable cause affidavit. The victim said Bishop did not say anything during these incidents, which occurred at her home or in Bishop’s car.
The victim said she was afraid after the abuse was reported to police because she thought Bishop would come to her school to kidnap her. The girl’s mother contacted Bishop to receive assurance that he would not do anything to her daughter.
Bishop told police that about half of the pornography he looked at online was child pornography. He said he last looked at child pornography on Feb. 18. He denied having taken pictures of the victim.
Police did not find child pornography during an initial search on his phone. A special agent with Homeland Security Investigations performed a more thorough search of Bishop’s phone and laptop and found several images of the victim posing for the camera. Bishop was arrested shortly after.
Bishop acknowledged touching the victim sexually, but denied the rape allegation made by the victim. He said the victim had asked him to touch her and “he thought that it was what she wanted,” according to court records.
When asked about the victim’s posing, Bishop said she would ask him to take pictures of her, and that she had been watching videos of pole dancers on YouTube. The victim’s parents told police they had asked her to stop dancing at home after it became inappropriate.
A no-contact order was filed between Bishop and the victim. His bond was set at $75,000.
Lewd conduct with a child under 16 is punishable with up to life in prison. A no-contact hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. March 14. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. March 16.
Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.