Military prosecutors in Hawaii accused a Navy chief of sexually abusing a girl there.
Assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Chief Matthew Lee Richardson is behind bars awaiting a mid-December court-martial trial there. He faces two specifications for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor and a separate charge of possessing child pornography.
In October 2018 and March 2019, Richardson allegedly encouraged a girl under the age of 16 to take off her underwear and walk around a room in Oahu, according to redacted charge sheets provided to Navy Times.
He’s also accused of intentionally touching the genitalia and buttocks of a child “with an intent to gratify his sexual desire” there, the court filings allege.
Because of redactions, it’s unclear if these alleged incidents involve one or more children.
Richardson’s pornography charge stems from what authorities say is an April 27, 2018, incident in which he possessed digital images of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
He was placed into pretrial confinement on April 21, 2019. and a general court-martial was convened for him four months later.
Richardson’s military attorney declined comment through public affairs officers in Hawaii.
“The Navy is committed to ensuring a thorough investigation and takes all allegations of sexual assault very seriously," said Agnes T. Tauyan, Navy Region Hawaii’s director of public affairs, in an email to Navy Times.
Originally from Virginia, Richardson, 37, enlisted in the Navy on April 20, 2004, according to military records provided to Navy Times.
He served at sea on the guided-missile cruiser Gettysburg and the amphibious warships New Orleans and Anchorage before arriving at the U.S. Pacific Fleet on Oct. 3, 2016, a year after pinning on chief.
His assignments ashore included the Naval Information Operations Center on Whidbey Island, Washington, and the Information Warfare Training Center in Pensacola, Florida.