Bail lowered for Providence man suspected of rape

Booking photo for Richard R. Cornell (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)

LOGAN — Bail has been reduced for a 72-year-old Providence man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman at his home. Richard R. Cornell was arrested last week and booked into the Cache County Jail.

Cornell appeared in 1st District Court Monday morning. He has been charged with object rape and forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony; a second count of forcible sodomy, and, two counts of forcible sexual abuse, all second-degree felonies.

Deputies allege the assault took place on the evening of March 2. The alleged victim later went to CAPSA for help, describing how she had been raped by Cornell, who was an acquaintance.

The woman called Cornell from the sheriff’s office, so deputies could record the conversation. The suspect apologized to her and said it never should have happened. He then allegedly stated that he had prayed about it, and she should go home, “take a shower, and forget it ever happened.”

Deputies responded to the home where the alleged assault took place. They were able to collect several pieces of physical evidence.

Investigators also questioned Cornell, who previously worked in law enforcement, military police and federal court security. He refused to cooperate without his lawyer.

Deputies noted that Cornell was still wearing the same clothes the victim described him having on when the rape occurred. They also filed for a warrant to collect his DNA.

During Monday’s hearing, public defender Ryan Holdaway asked the court to schedule a preliminary hearing, where a judge will determine whether Cornell should be bound over for trial. He also requested his client’s bail be lowered.

Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray objected to lowering Cornell’s bail. He expressed concern for the safety of the alleged victim and the community.

Judge Brian Cannell set the preliminary hearing for March 23. He said he was also concerned because of the severity of the alleged offenses, but allowed bail to be lowered partially to $50,000.

Court records show that Cornell does not have a previous criminal history. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.

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