Former SouthCoast Talk Radio Host and Journalist Sentenced for Indecent and Physical Assault on Child
FALL RIVER (WBSM) — Former talk radio personality and newspaper editor Richard “Ric” Oliveira has been convicted of indecently assaulting and physically assaulting a pre-teen close female relative and will serve jail time.
Oliveira, 53, was convicted by a jury on charges of indecent assault and battery on a person under the age of 14, and assault and battery, according to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn.
Oliveira was formerly a longtime talk show host and general manager at WSAR-AM in Somerset, and was a journalist for and publisher of the O Jornal Portuguese-language newspaper in Fall River.
Quinn said that during the trial, the victim testified that the abuse began when she was eight years old and entered Oliveira’s bedroom in his Swansea home seeking comfort during a storm. She testified that once inside the bedroom, he sexually molested her.
She also testified that about two years after that, Oliveira punished her for throwing out his cigarettes by dragging her around the house by her hair, ripping some of her hair out of her head in the process. She testified to being asthmatic, and she got rid of the cigarettes because they made it difficult for her to breathe when Oliveira smoked.
“During the victim’s impact statement to the court this afternoon, she stated that she has suffered through years of anxiety and depression as a result of what the defendant did to her,” the D.A.’s Office said. “She said she still fears walking alone on the street and said what happened to her has tainted her childhood.”
The prosecution requested Oliveira be sentenced to the maximum two and a half years in jail for the indecent assault conviction and an additional year for the physical assault charge. The defense asked for no jail time and three to five years of probation.
Judge Cynthia Brackett sentenced Oliveira to two years in the house of corrections, with one year to serve and the balance suspended for three years. If Oliveira violates the terms of his eventual release or commits a new crime, he could have to serve the remainder of the suspended jail sentence.
“The defendant took advantage of his position of trust and engaged in despicable conduct by molesting an eight-year-old girl. In addition, he later violently assaulted the girl. The defendant’s conduct is difficult to comprehend,” D.A. Quinn said.
“Based on the facts of the case, I feel the defendant should have been sentenced to a longer period of incarceration,” he said. “I commend the victim for coming forward and for testifying in court under very difficult circumstances.”