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Richard Welch: DNA test leads to arrest of Vermont man, 46, who impregnated 11-year-old girl

Richard Welch has pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual assault on a child and remains jailed without bail
(Representational image - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
(Representational image - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Warning: This article contains information about sexual assault that could be triggering to some readers. Discretion is advised.

RUTLAND COUNTY, VERMONT: A man was charged with sexual assault after DNA testing proved he fathered a child with a 12-year-old girl. The victim became pregnant at age 11 and gave birth in June. The girl identified Richard Welch, 46, as the person who fathered her child. 

According to The Reporter, the girl told police that she was not sexually active and had a habit of sleepwalking. As her stomach grew due to the pregnancy, she claimed it was “chubby” despite not having her period since December.


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The Child First Advocacy Center in Rutland County got involved after the girl’s father received photos of his daughter looking clearly pregnant. The father revealed that he had joint custody with the mother, but did not visit his daughter since May because the mother withheld visitation, as per the Rutland Herald.

As per The Reporter, the Brandon police advised her mother to seek medical intervention during the pregnancy. It was then revealed that the girl was approximately 38 weeks pregnant.

After several interviews, she named Welch, although she denied being physical with him. She claimed she was someone who has a deep sleep, and may have been raped while sleeping. Meanwhile, Welch told cops that the victim got into bed with him on multiple occasions and that he sleeps naked. He also said he had erectile dysfunction, as per the outlet.

Welch stated that the victim avoided going to her father’s house, but he did not claim that the father raped her. The girl’s mother allegedly noted that she believed her daughter was impregnated while with her father. However, an affidavit revealed that the girl’s mother mentioned an ancedote in which Welch “stuck his penis inside one of her kid’s mouths and she had laughed at it.”

Later, both Welch and the girl’s father submitted their DNA and it was concluded that Welch was the father of the baby. He has pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual assault on a child and remains jailed without bail.

In a separate incident, a married high school choir director is facing charges after it was alleged that she was involved in a sexual relationship with one of her underage female students. Olivia Ortz’s alleged crime reportedly came to light after her husband saw multiple messages exchanged between his wife and the 17-year-old student.

The 26-year-old accused, who was employed at Wilmington Area High School, was suspended on May 9 after the shocking allegation. An arrest warrant for her was released on Friday, May 13, but she surrendered herself on Monday, May 16, after performing in a local concert a day earlier.