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A Providence man pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse charges after waiving his preliminary hearing on Monday.

Richard Royal Cornell, 72, was initially charged with two counts of first-degree forcible sodomy, one count of of first-degree object rape and two counts of second-degree forcible sexual abuse. According to documents filed with the court, Cornell now faces an additional charge of second-degree attempted forcible sodomy.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the alleged victim told Cache County Sheriff’s Deputies that Cornell approached a young woman in a bedroom and began tickling and inappropriately touching her. Despite being asked to stop, law enforcement wrote, Cornell forcibly removed clothing and engaged in oral sex acts with the victim.

The victim reported the incident to CAPSA who contacted law enforcement. During a recorded phone call between Cornell and the victim, deputies wrote, Cornell said the incident never should have happened.

According to the affidavit, Cornell told the victim he had prayed about it — she should go home, take a shower and forget it ever happened.

Cornell was arrested at his home and a warrant was executed to collect Cornell’s DNA and clothing, according to the affidavit. He told deputies he was retired law enforcement, military police and federal court security. Cornell declined to speak with deputies, and requested an attorney.

Defense attorney Ryan Holdaway said prosecutors made a plea offer and agreed to leave the offer open contingent on Cornell waiving his preliminary hearing.

Cornell is being held in the Cache County Jail on $50,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 30.

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