A 63-year-old man who has spent decades behind bars for abducting and raping a child will be released in Ashland County this month.

Richard D. Sugden Jr. originally was convicted in Richland County in 1976 of rape and sexual perversion and in 1997 of first-degree sexual assault and child abduction.

While in prison, he and two other inmates attempted to escape, holding a staff members hostage while armed with a home-made knife, according to court records. Their attempt failed when they tried to crash through a prison gate in a stolen car but the car rolled over.

In one of his original cases, Sugden abducted a 17-year-old stranger who was walking along a path, dragged her under a bridge and raped her at knifepoint, records said.

The second case involved another rape at knifepoint, this time of an adult woman, reports said.

He later was committed in 2008 as a sexually-violent person, but he now is being released and will be living in Ashland County by June 26, according to Sheriff Mick Brennen.

Sugden is a lifetime registered sex offender and will be required to wear a GPS tracking device until he dies.

Court documents say his release was recommended for public notification because of his history of violence, choosing random victims with at least three prior sex crimes and his low motivation for seeking work when released. He also has not made progress in treatment while in prison, records said.

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