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CalvinRichard enters a Minot courtroom for his sentencing hearing on a Class A felony charge of child abuse. (Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan
CalvinRichard enters a Minot courtroom for his sentencing hearing on a Class A felony charge of child abuse. (Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan

Child Abuser Sentenced 

Kim Fundingsland
 December 23, 2022
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Four-year-old victim beaten 

MINOT – A lot of tears and a lot of emotion was evident in a Minot courtroom Friday. Calvin Richard, 28, faced sentencing for child abuse resulting in permanent loss or impairment.  

The case began October 18, 2020, when Minot Police responded to the Trinity Hospital Emergency Room for a report of parents getting out of control. A doctor informed responding officers that a four-year-old boy was brought to the ER with internal bleeding inside his brain, comparable to shaken baby syndrome, and bruising several places on his body. 

The youth was flown to Fargo for further emergency care where doctors reported the boy had 11 fractured ribs, lacerations on the kidney and liver, brain swelling into the brain stem, dead tissue on the brain, a stroke, and seizures. 

A doctor who examined the boy at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo stated the child can “expect to have significant neurological deficits from the injury.” A second physician said to expect “permanent disabilities.” 

The injuries happened while the mother, Jassone Rabon, Minot, was at work, having left the child in the care of Richard. The boy was unresponsive the following morning and taken immediately to the ER. 

At the sentencing hearing Rabon was sworn in and made an emotional statement directly to Richard. 

“We have to go through this all over again, two days before Christmas. It’s disgusting. It’s never going away,” said Rabon. “You’re a liar, disgusting, evil. Rot in hell.” 

The boy’s biological father spoke via video, taking several moments to compose himself before addressing Richard. 

“You’ve hurt me man. I’ve lost so much. Now my son is in a wheelchair,” he said. “You’re evil. Evil. Evil. Evil.” 

The boy’s stepmother, also via video, read a tearful statement, saying, “This is the worst hurt I’ve ever experienced. You are a monster.” 

The state told Judge Richard Hagar that the injured boy is permanently disabled and on a feeding tube, adding “This child’s quality of life is seriously impacted.” 

Richard had earlier entered an Alford plea, an admittance that a jury would likely find him guilty. Hagar took up the matter before handing down the sentence. 

“You did not believe you’d get a fair trial in North Dakota because you are black,” said Hagar. “You maintain you did no wrong. I have before me a four-year-old who doesn’t have a life. From this court’s perspective you are guilty of the crime.” 

With that, Hagar sentenced Richard to 20 years in the state penitentiary with 10 years suspended. He urged Richard to take advantage of programs offered at the penitentiary to improve behavior.  

Richard will receive credit for 737 days served in the Ward County Jail. He also faces a restitution hearing for an amount in excess of $740,000. 

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