Son of far-right group leader accused of child sex abuse

The son of the leader of an anti-government group faces a dozen criminal charges for alleged sexual abuse of a child under 12.

Richard Solon Mack, 44, is the son of Richard Mack, founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. the CSPOA, according to the Anti-Defamation League, “is an anti-government extremist group whose primary goal is to recruit sheriffs into the anti-government ‘patriot’ movement.” The movement and its founder rubbed shoulders with conspiratorial movements like QAnon, which falsely alleges a widespread pattern of child sex trafficking.

On Tuesday young Mack was arrested on four counts of incest, sodomy of a child under 12 and sexual abuse of a child under 12. He has since left a jail in Warren County, Ky., on $150,025 cash bail.

Mack’s attorney, Travis Brown, said the charges were based on false allegations. “These accusations and allegations against Mr. Mack are absurd,” Brown told The Daily Beast.

The elder Mack also asserted his son’s innocence.

Reached by phone, Mack Sr. claimed his son’s ex-wife filed false charges, leading to Mack’s indictment. Brown gave a similar account, accusing Mack’s ex of making unfounded claims during a lengthy custody battle. Brown said police investigated the sexual abuse allegations in 2019 but did not press charges at the time. He said he expects the case to go to trial.

Mack’s ex-wife has not commented on her former stepfather’s claims. Last week, a Warren County grand jury indicted Mack on 12 counts. The indictment accused Mack of repeatedly raping a child, beginning in 2016 when the child was 7 years old. The alleged incidents occurred until January 2019.

“He was already falsely arrested and he sued the agency that arrested him and he got an out-of-court settlement,” Mack Sr said. “It really got out of hand and the indictment was a whole joke. He wasn’t allowed any due process. He wasn’t even supposed to participate and he wasn’t allowed to present any evidence.

“Mack Sr. and his movement have gained traction with local governments who have opposed anti-COVID measures like masks.”

Defendants rarely present evidence in grand jury trials, where jurors decide whether to bring charges against the accused. (The trial does not decide the guilt or innocence of the accused.) In Kentucky, a defendant is permitted to submit a written request to present evidence to a grand jury. However, the jury is not obliged to accede to this request. Brown confirmed that he submitted a request for Mack to present evidence, but it was not granted.

Mack Sr. called the case a “sad situation” and said his son would fight the charges.

The elder Mack is a celebrity in far-right and militia circles for his founding of the CSPOA. The organization falsely claims that sheriffs are the highest level law enforcement agency in their district and encourages sheriffs to enforce (or not enforce) laws based on their personal interpretations of the constitution .

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mack Sr. and his movement gained popularity with local governments who opposed anti-COVID measures like masks. At least two Nevada counties paid thousands of dollars to become CSPOA “lifetime” members last year. The designation is largely “symbolic”, Mack Sr. told The Daily Beast last year, although it includes a plaque, pins and “all manner of CSPOA merchandise”.

Mack Sr. is a former board member of the Oath Keepers, a far-right paramilitary group involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. although he told BuzzFeed that he left the organization in 2016. However, he and the CSPOA later collaborated with other far-right figures. One of the CSPOA’s Nevada events in 2021 featured a Capitol rioter (she pleaded guilty this year), and Mack Sr. then went on a national tour led by the now deceased QAnon promoter Robert David Steele. (Mack Sr said Vice that he was not interested in QAnon and was unaware of Steele’s conspiratorial leanings.)

Mack Sr. and the CSPOA also held recent training sessions for Texas law enforcement, which prompted complaints from civil rights groups.

“CSPOA is currently co-sponsoring a national tour with an anti-Semitic conspirator from QAnon,” said Devin Burghart, executive director of the Institute for Human Rights Research and Education. already said Mother Jones. “Robert David Steele is a prolific purveyor of anti-Semitism who spews conspiracy theories about ‘Satanic Zionists’ engaged in a worldwide conspiracy against white people.”

Mack Sr. was also present during far-right provocateur Cliven Bundy’s armed confrontation in 2014 with federal agents. He later told Fox News thatif the authorities opened fire, he and Bundy supporters planned to put the women on the front lines “to show the world how ruthless these people are.”

“I would have put my own wife or my daughters there, and I would have cried bloody murder to see them die,” he said. “I would have been next, I would have been the next to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I am ready to die here.

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