Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando defendant Richard Lamerton denies sex abuse and child porn charges, blames women

BROOKSVILLE — Facing allegations from a teenage relative of sexual abuse and child pornography, Richard Lamerton took the stand Wednesday to deny everything.

The day before, the jury heard a 21-year-old woman describe how he sexually molested her twice and took nearly 100 explicit photos of her years ago, starting when she was age 15.

"I would never have done that," Lamerton said. "That would be abusing the trust."

The 50-year-old former Spring Hill resident spoke evenly, like a professor patiently correcting all the fallacies created by the woman and her mother in previous testimony. He often looked directly at the jury as he testified and squinted with one eye as he recalled events.

Attorneys are expected to make closing arguments today before the jury begins deliberating the eight sex charges against Lamerton, including sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation and numerous counts of child pornography.

Lamerton, a former respiratory therapist at the Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, faces a maximum 85 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Lamerton's attorney, Sean Cox of Clearwater, portrayed his client as a selfless man who did nothing wrong. Instead, he blamed the girl's mother.

"Do you know who took the photos?" Cox asked his client.

"That was (her mother)," Lamerton responded. "I respected the boundaries."

Lamerton went further to note the mother's desire to put naked photos of herself on the Internet and even suggested she once faced accusations that she molested her own daughter.

"I was what you call blindsided by (these charges)," Lamerton said.

Assistant State Attorney Brian Trehy objected at numerous points, calling the defense strategy a smear tactic. Under thorough questioning, the prosecutor made Lamerton retreat somewhat from his previous claims about the woman's mother.

Earlier in the day, investigators testified about how they found the nude or partially nude photos of the relative on two computers in Lamerton's home.

A computer forensic expert described how he found some of the photos hidden on Lamerton's computer in a system folder labeled "I386."

"It's not an area where anyone normally stores images," Detective Jeremy Ashton said. "I've never seen images in the I386 file before."

The expert used special software to find other nude photos on a different computer despite someone's attempt to delete them from the computer's trash folder. The explicit photos were purportedly taken when the girl was 15, 16 and 17. But the computer expert could not pinpoint a date for the photos.

The alleged victim told jurors that Lamerton took the photos to help her with her modeling portfolio. She came forward with the allegations in college at age 19 after keeping them secret for years.

Hernando defendant Richard Lamerton denies sex abuse and child porn charges, blames women 06/17/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 7:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem

    Bucs

    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national anthem …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  2. Forecast: Tampa Bay's first fall weekend brings scattered showers

    Weather

    It may officially be fall, but Tampa Bay won't have any cooler temperatures this weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  3. Romano: The choice does not have to be poverty or gentrification

    Local Government

    The memories must be protected. The music and the lore, too.

    The owner of Sylvia's Queen of Soul Food is refusing to give the city information on the restaurant's sales as required by his contract to occupy the city-owned Manhattan Casino. The information is needed to calculate whether the nonprofit Urban Development Solutions, headed by Larry Newsome, owes the city more than the $3,000 monthly base rent.
  4. Tests show North Korea earthquake not caused by nuclear test

    World

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's weather agency said a magnitude 3.2 earthquake was detected in North Korea on Saturday close to where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, but it assessed the quake as natural.

    People watch a TV news program reporting North Korea's earthquake, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. South Korea's weather agency said an earthquake was detected in North Korea on Saturday around where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, but it assessed the quake as natural. The signs read " The weather agency said a magnitude 3.0 earthquake was detected in North Korea." [Associated Press]
  5. New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico

    World

    MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, causing new alarm in a country reeling from two still-more-powerful quakes this month that have killed nearly 400 people.

    Locals play pool at a venue in Mexico City's La Condesa neighborhood, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, four days after the 7.1 earthquake. The upscale Mexico City neighborhood was one of the hardest hit, with more than a half-dozen collapsed buildings in the immediate vicinity. The few Condesa residents who ventured out Friday night said they were anxious for relief from an anguishing week. [Associated Press]