Police arrest St. George man accused of raping teen in 2016

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ST. GEORGE — Following an investigation that began over a year ago, a local man accused of raping a middle school student was arrested Thursday.

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Ricardo Robert Riggs, 25, of St. George, faces two first-degree felony charges, including rape and forcible sodomy, for the alleged rape of a minor that reportedly took place in 2016.

The investigation began Oct. 30, 2020, after the incident was reported. The case then was sent to the detective unit at the St. George Police Department, and an investigator was assigned to follow up on the information. 

According to charging documents filed with the court, the incident involved an 18-year-old, who disclosed during a counseling appointment in 2020 that she was sexually assaulted by the suspect four years prior. She was 14 years old at the time and still a student at one of the area middle schools.  

At the time of the incident, the teen reportedly said she and a friend had gone over to the house of the suspect, who was 20 years old at the time, located on the east side of St. George.

Investigators also learned during the interview that shortly after the girls’ arrival, the suspect was drinking alcohol and reportedly made a number of sexual advances toward the girl, each of which she attempted to counter by telling the suspect, “No.” She said she said this so many times that she just felt ”numb,” the detective noted in the report.  

At that point, the suspect forced himself upon the girl and proceeded to sexually assault her, according to the report.

Detectives reached out to the defendant to schedule an interview. After multiple attempts, the suspect ultimately ceased all communications with law enforcement. 

Authorities say Riggs had several active warrants for his arrest on four misdemeanor cases that involve drug, assault and alcohol offenses. The officer also noted the suspect was not arrested on the warrants since the cases were filed at the same time the COVID restrictions were implemented at the jail. 

On April 8, 2021, with the monthslong investigation completed, the Washington County Attorney’s Office filed the two first-degree felony charges. Detectives also requested that a warrant be issued for the suspect’s arrest, a request that was granted by District Judge Jeffrey Wilcox when the $10,000 cash-only warrant was signed four days later. 

The warrant remained active until Thursday, when the suspect was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility shortly after noon on the felony warrant, in addition to the four outstanding warrants.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.


Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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