A Kansas City man who had previously been convicted of rape has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexually abusing two young girls.
Richard E. Hughes, 57, received the sentence on April 5 after pleading guilty that same day in Platte County Circuit Court to two counts of statutory sodomy in the first degree.
“This defendant had already been convicted of rape and sentenced to two decades in prison,” Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “Tragically, when he was released from prison, he sexually abused two more victims. This sentence should ensure he is never released from prison to hurt another person.”
In October 2016, investigators with the Kansas City Police Department began investigating Hughes’ abuse of two girls, who were seven and nine years old at the time. One of the girls had disclosed the abuse to a relative during a family meal.
According to one of the victims, the abuse began when she was two years old. Hughes continued to have contact with the girls and abused them for years after.
Hughes admitted to authorities that everything the girls said was true. He told police he had been dealing with this sort of thing since he was “knee high to a grasshopper.”
Hughes was arrested in Buchanan County for rape in 1983. He was ultimately sentenced to 21 years in prison for that crime.
“This defendant was brought to justice because one of these girls was brave enough to disclose to a relative what was happening to her,” Zahnd said. “That family member, in turn, believed what the girl had to say and reported the abuse to police. We are better as a society when we start by believing what sexual abuse victims have to say.”
Zahnd encouraged people to visit www.startbybelieving.org for more information on supporting victims of sexual abuse.
The case was investigated by the Kansas City Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Miranda Loesch.