Scheib also pleads guilty to fleeing police

Published 9:30 am Friday, June 18, 2010

Thirty-five-year-old Richard David Scheib, who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of criminal sexual conduct with children, has also pleaded guilty to a felony charge of fleeing police in a motor vehicle as part of a larger plea agreement.

If the agreement is approved by Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab, Scheib’s sentence for this charge will run concurrent with his sentence in the criminal sexual conduct case.

The fleeing charge stems from an incident on April 26, when Scheib led police officers on a three-mile chase from the Freeborn County Courthouse to South Margaretha Avenue.

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The chase ended when Scheib struck a fire hydrant on South Margaretha Avenue and then ran by foot from police for a short time before being apprehended.

He has been in the Freeborn County jail ever since on bail of more than $1 million, for this charge and others.

The agreement, entered Tuesday, also includes two other charges against Scheib for felony jury tampering and misdemeanor harassment.

He will be sentenced for all the charges July 26.

Criminal sexual conduct

According to the plea agreement, Scheib pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person younger than 16 involving multiple acts in exchange for a 90-month prison sentence.

If the agreement is accepted, he would also be subject to registering as a sex offender, along with 10 years conditional release.

Court documents state the plea was classified as an Alford plea, in which a defendant maintains his innocence but enters the plea because he knows there is sufficient evidence for a conviction.

“While I deny that I committed the act of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, I am entering a plea of guilty to avoid the risk of being convicted at trial of the more serious charges in the complaint,” Scheib wrote in the agreement. “I admit that should this case proceed to trial (again, as this case was tried once and resulted in a mistrial) it is likely the jury would convict me at trial.”

Scheib pleads guilty to sex charges

Police chase driver through streets of Albert Lea

He originally faced two counts of first-degree sexual conduct with sexual penetration, involving two girls, who were ages 11 and 9 at the time. He also faced two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second-degree, one count for each of the two girls.

According to court papers, the alleged victims described the suspicions found in a diary and how they were to keep the contact a secret.

His trial was slated to begin July 12 after a previous mistrial in January. The mistrial stemmed from Scheib’s Facebook account; he was found to have made friends with jurors.

If the plea agreement is accepted, no charges will also be able to be brought against Scheib’s father, mother, son, friend or another individual — who was identified only by initials — in reference to this case.

Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said charges were “certainly potentially possible” against the Scheib’s parents, but the investigation into the matter was not complete.

Nelson said there was “general concern” about whether they aided in violations of order for protection or in matters that may involve perjury, or false statements.

He said this part of the agreement was more of a preventative statement requested by the defense.

Jury tampering

Scheib’s newest charges — including one count of felony perjury and two counts of felony harassment for allegedly tampering with a juror in his previous trial — were filed against Scheib June 10.

If the plea agreement is accepted, these charges would be dismissed.

Restraining order violation

Under this charge, Scheib pleaded guilty and would be sentenced to 90 days in jail, under the agreement. The sentence would run concurrent with the criminal sexual conduct and fleeing charges.