A Richmond man described in court as “the monster hiding in the closet” for sexually assaulting a child was sentenced Monday to 12½ years in prison.
Benjamin Frank Riechert, 39, entered into a negotiated plea of guilty to one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child younger than 13.
The charge is a Class X felony that carries a sentencing range of six to 30 years in prison.
In exchange for his guilty plea, additional counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, domestic battery, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, criminal sexual assault and child endangerment were dismissed, according to court records in the McHenry County courthouse.
Riechert also must register as a sex offender for life and will be on mandatory supervised release from three years to life.
At the end of his prison sentence, of which he is required to serve 85%, he will be evaluated by the Illinois Department of Corrections to determine whether he is sexually violent under the Sexually Violent Persons Civil Commitment Act. If found to be sexually violent he could be held civilly for additional years, Assistant State’s Attorney Ashley Romito said.
Romito also explained that the counts were merged and would have been served concurrently, so they would not have added more prison time.
Riechert will receive credit for the 596 days that he’s been held in the county jail since his arrest Feb. 14, 2022. He also will receive credit for any additional days he is in the jail’s custody before being transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Under the state’s truth in sentencing law, the actual time he will spend in prison is 10 years, two months and 165 days, Judge Tiffany Davis said.
The assault is alleged to have occurred between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, according to court records.
A relative of the victim read an impact statement calling Riechert “a monster.”
The woman also shared a statement from the victim, which read: “I hope he gets what he deserves because he ruined my life.”
The victim’s relative said Riechert “did the most unthinkable, horrific act. ... What you did was unforgivable. I hope it haunts you every day and every night.”