NEW PORT RICHEY — A 70-year-old man who once directed community theater plays in New Port Richey and Spring Hill was arrested Tuesday and charged with impregnating a 14-year-old girl.
Richard Michaelis was charged with first degree sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation after the girl learned she was pregnant, according to the New Port Richey Police Department. The teen showed police a contract she said Michaelis wrote. The paper had a section titled "nullification of contract terms" where, if the teen violated their agreement, then Michaelis had the "right to use victim's body at his discretion," a report states.
Michaelis, who lives in New Port Richey, admitted to writing the contract and said "he was using it as a threat to keep her out of trouble and having sexual encounters with other teenagers," the report states.
Michaelis said the teenager was the instigator of the sexual encounters, police said.
This is his first arrest in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Michaelis directed a few plays for Stage West Community Playhouse in the past decade. The last play he directed locally was The Bad Seed for Richey Suncoast Theatre in 2007.
"This comes as a shock, to say the least," said Charlie Skelton, president of the board of directors of Richey Suncoast Theatre.
Skelton said The Bad Seed was the only play Michaelis directed at Richey. Skelton said the theater does background checks on everyone hired.
"We are extremely cautious," he said.
Wednesday evening, Michaelis remained in the Pasco County jail in lieu of $160,000 bail.
Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this story.