Richard “Ricky” Ernest Brightwell, 32, of 25 Pilgrim Hill St., Inwood, W.Va., was being held without bond Friday in Eastern Regional Jail in Berkeley County on a fugitive from justice warrant from Washington County.
An arrest warrant issued in late November in Washington County charged Brightwell with 27 counts, including: four counts of first-degree rape, four counts of second-degree rape, four counts of second-degree assault, four counts of third-degree sexual offense, two counts of kidnapping a child younger than 16, one count of first-degree assault, three counts of false imprisonment, two counts of a handgun in a vehicle, two counts of handgun on his person and one count of use of a firearm in commission of felony, according to court records.
Authorities said the 27 counts against Brightwell came after a joint investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Hagerstown Police Department. That inquiry involved a series of reported rapes that occurred in Hagerstown and Washington County in 2006, authorities said.
The victim was a 15-year-old girl, authorities said.
In Berkeley County, Brightwell is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl on Sept. 2 in Inwood, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.
The warrant charging Brightwell with second-degree sexual assault in that case indicates his address at that time was 208 N. Potomac St. in Hagerstown, records show. He also had a Frederick, Md., address at 10122 Bethel Road.
Brightwell was booked at Eastern Regional Jail on Dec. 27. Since then, he posted a $50,000 bond on the sexual assault charge from West Virginia, but was being held on a fugitive-from-justice warrant from Washington County, a jail spokeswoman said.
Mullendore said the Washington County Sheriff’s Office typically would pick up a fugitive almost immediately in a case such as this, but the closing of government offices over the holidays has delayed the process.
— By Dan Dearth