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Richter Trial: Woman accused of imprisoning kids takes plea agreement

TUCSON – A woman accused of keeping her daughters imprisoned in their Tucson home, changed her plea in Superior Court on Monday.

Sophia Richter

Richter and her husband, Fernando were initially found guilty for child abuse and kidnapping in Pima County Superior Court in 2016. In August, a judge ordered a new trial for these charges after ruling she was not allowed to present evidence that she acted “under duress” and was too scared of her husband Fernando Richter to help her daughters.

After originally pleading not guilty in the case, authorities reported that Sophia changed her plea to guilty, taking a wrap plea agreement in court Monday. She pleaded guilty to three counts of kidnapping and three counts of child abuse in Pima County. She also pleaded guilty to six counts of child abuse and three counts of kidnapping in Pinal County.

Back in 2016, Fernando Richter and his wife, Sophia were originally found guilty for child abuse and kidnapping in Pima County Superior Court. Fernando, who was also found guilty on two counts of aggravated assault, was sentenced to 58 years in prison.

 

A 2012 police mugshot of Fernando Richter/ Tucson Police Department

In January, a Pinal County Superior Court judge has dismissed the charges against, Fernando Richter. He stood trial in Pinal County for similar charges for incidents that occurred when the couple lived in Pinal County. Those charges, which included seven counts of child/vulnerable adult abuse and one count of kidnapping, were dismissed. The case was dismissed without prejudice.

Fernando was also found guilty on two counts of aggravated assault in Pima County Superior Court. He was sentenced to 58 years in prison.

Prosecutors say the three children were held captive inside a single room and were fed rancid food before they managed to escape.

Sophia Richter will be sentenced on June 10.

Julia Leon

Julia Leon

Julia is a Digital Content Producer at News 4 Tucson. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
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