Court vacates conviction; mother in kidnapping, child abuse case - Tucson News Now

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Court vacates conviction; mother in kidnapping, child abuse case to get new trial

Sophia and Fernando Richter (Source: Tucson News Now) Sophia and Fernando Richter (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Arizona Court of Appeals has vacated the conviction of Sophia Richter and ordered a new trial.

According to the court's opinion document, the court found that "Because the trial court improperly precluded Sophia's duress defense, we vacate her conviction and remand for a new trial."

Richter and her husband Fernando Richter were convicted in March 2016 of imprisoning and abusing her three daughters for years.

Fernando Richter was sentenced to 58 years years in prison with 835 days credit for time served while Sophia Richter was sentenced to 20 years with 835 days credit for time served. She also received three years probation. 

At sentencing, Sophia Richter's attorney said he will appeal this case, saying there needs to be a better alternative to incarceration.

He said Sophia had no criminal history before this case and he said he wasn't allowed to present her defense as he wanted. He said Sophia was not allowed to say she was a victim herself.

The Richters still face similar kidnapping and child abuse charges in Pinal County, where they lived before moving to Tucson.

Pinal officials have said their trial will start sometime after the trial in Pima County ends. No word yet on an exact date.

In the Pinal County indictment, Fernando Richter also is accused of child molestation and sexual abuse.

Sophia Richter Opinion by Tucson News Now on Scribd

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