A preliminary hearing has been set for January 5, 2011, for an Oklahoma City man accused of acting severely autistic and wearing diapers in order to con women to care for him for his sexual gratification.
Mark Anthony Richards, Jr., 21, admitted that his actions were "for a sexual purpose." Richards was charged in October with felony sexual battery in Oklahoma County after he grabbed the breast of a caregiver's 18-year-old daughter. He was also charged with seven counts of outraging public decency after his babysitters reported to police that he would become sexually aroused when they changed his diapers.
Allegedly, Richards found victims of his bizarre babysitting con through online Craigslist ads. In a case from September, the 18-year-old woman whom Richards was later to grope, placed an ad online. A man responded saying that his 19-year-old severely autistic son, "Alex," needed care.
The man stated that his son still wore diapers, drank from a bottle, and used a pacifier. The young woman's mother decided to care for "Alex" instead of letting her daughter. Police believe Richards was pretending to be both the father and Alex.
The woman who cared for Richards told police that he would become sexually aroused when she would change his diaper and that he would frequently get up and run around the house as she attempted to change him. One night, he groped her daughter's breast, an action which would lead to his sexual battery charge.
She advised the 18-year-old that Richards "didn't know what he was doing." However, she became suspicious of his motives after Richards's repeated stays with her family. Richards admitted to police that the September incident is not the only time he conned a babysitter into caring for him and changing his diapers in order to achieve sexual stimulation.
Mental Illness and Sex Related Charges
He said that in April 2010 he convinced another woman that he was autistic and needed care. Richards's charges of outraging public decency are the result of tricking the babysitters into changing his diapers. Richards is currently on probation for a 2008 arson charge. His mother says that Richards is mentally ill and needs psychiatric treatment rather than incarceration for his Oklahoma County sex crimes. For more about sex related crimes and their penalties click here.