LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A now-adult alleged victim knocked out an 80-year-old convicted sex offender in a Nevada courtroom, according to witnesses.
Richard Gross, 80, was in a Clark County district courtroom for his sentencing on Oct. 2. He was initially charged with 26 felony counts related to the alleged sexual abuse of a child. He pleaded guilty through an Alford plea to one felony count of attempted lewdness with a child under the age of 14.
An Alford plea is when a defendant does not admit to committing the crime, but enters a guilty plea because they believe there is a likelihood of a conviction.
Judge Tierra Jones sentenced Gross to a suspended sentence of 60-80 months. In a suspended sentence, a defendant is placed on probation; if probation is violated, the convicted could serve prison time.
Nexstar’s KLAS has chosen not to identify the alleged sexual abuse victim because of the nature of the circumstances.
The now-29-year-old man gave a victim impact statement in court. Once the sentencing concluded and Gross began to leave left the courtroom with his wife and attorney, the accuser stood up and punched Gross in the face, causing him to fall to the floor, an arrest report obtained by KLAS stated.
The alleged victim was arrested for misdemeanor battery.
Gross was taken to a hospital, saying he briefly lost consciousness after he was hit, the arrest report said. His wife said that his glasses were broken as a result of the punch, according to the report.
KLAS requested a courtroom video from the sentencing where Gross was knocked out. The Clark County District Court provided a heavily redacted copy.
Judge Tierra Jones also ordered Gross to register on the sex offender registry along with lifetime supervision. However, during a search for “Richard Gross,” no results appeared on the registry.
As part of his suspended sentence, Gross must abide by certain terms: He is prohibited from using alcohol and marijuana, and he must live at least 1,000 feet from public or private schools, school bus stops, daycare facilities, video arcades, parks, playgrounds, movie theaters, or athletic fields or facilities used for youth sports, according to court records. The Division of Parole and Probation must have unlimited access to his electronic devices.
The 29-year-old alleged victim was scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 7 for the battery charge. His attorney sent the following statement on his behalf to KLAS:
“While it was on some level cathartic, my actions in court were not appropriate. I was overwhelmed by emotion at the hearing, which got the better of me. I was and am deeply troubled by the fact that Richard Gross received no prison time, but I do understand these things happen sometimes in criminal proceedings. I am satisfied that I found the courage to come forward and confront my accuser. However, I would ask the court and the district attorney to take to heart the fact that additional trauma is inflicted on victims of sexual abuse when they do come forward, their accuser admits to the conduct, or the equivalent, and does not face any prison time. I was in a mental prison for many years because of Richard Gross’s actions, and for him to receive no prison time is disheartening to me.
“Having said that, I am strengthened by the knowledge that I did what I had to do. I do not regret coming forward and confronting my assailant. I only wish I had done it sooner. While I still live with the trauma of his crimes committed on me, every day, I believe my life is better overall for having come forward. I encourage all other victims of sexual abuse to do the same. If there are others out there that see this story, especially young adults and kids, if they are being abused or have been abused, I implore them to come forward and tell their loved ones, or teachers or the authorities that they are being hurt or abused.”
The alleged victim filed a lawsuit against Gross and his wife in 2021. The complaint made claims that Gross had abused him between the years of 2001 through 2003 and again in 2008, when the accuser was ages 8, 9, 10 and 15. The accuser also claimed that the incidents occurred in the home of Gross, his pickup truck and while on a camping trip.
The accuser’s parents had divorced and his mother trusted Gross and his wife, who were family friends, to babysit him, according to the complaint.
Gross’ wife was also named as a defendant because she “knew of her husband’s predilections towards minor children/boys, knew of prior incidents wherein he abused children, and knew he represented a risk/danger to Plaintiff,” the complaint alleged.
The alleged victim is suing for assault and battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence and negligent supervision.
A jury trial has been set for Feb. 5, 2024.