Last month a judge ruled a court-monitoring device could be removed from Richard Boydston’s ankle as he awaited a court date to resolve sexual assault charges against him from 2017. Last week the 66-year-old Vernon man was arrested twice and now faces additional sex assault-related charges.
Boydston was jailed on Sept. 23 after New Jersey State Police said he engaged in an inappropriate conversation with an underage high school student walking on the Wood Duck Nature Trail.
While on the trail that is part of the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge in Wantage on Sept. 11, Boydston approached a boy, asked his age and told him his name was Dick.
Boydston then asked the high school minor questions sexual in nature, according to police.
On Sept. 13, Boydston attempted to make contact with the minor again on the trail but was unsuccessful, according to police.
Boydston is also accused of making lewd and sexually explicit hand gestures while staring at another individual during an incident in Wantage on Sept. 20.
Boydston’s new charges include: third-degree sexual conduct, a disorderly persons offense of lewdness and a petty disorderly persons offense of harassment.
Boydston has one of the oldest unresolved criminal cases in the county stemming from 2017, according to Assistant Prosecutor Laura Nazzaro.
Prior to his most recent arrest, during an Aug. 9 court hearing in front of Sussex County Judge Louis S. Sceusi, Nazzaro said the hold up is due to the fact that Boydston has not physically appeared in court since 2018 and that he has not made contact via phone or Zoom conference.
"He adamantly refuses to participate in court at all," Nazzaro said. "He had multiple opportunities to participate in hearings by phone and he refuses. He doesn’t want to face the consequences of his actions."
"I have never seen a defendant in my history being in Sussex County that has been able to completely avoid judicial process without consequences whatsoever."
Attorney Jeffrey Katz said Boydston, his client, suffered a massive heart attack in December 2018 and has a "host of medical problems." He said if Boydston "gets extremely upset" talking about his charges, stating, "It aggravates his condition (and) I don’t want to be the one to cause him to have (another) heart attack."
Boydston was originally arrested April 2017 for an alleged attempted sexual assault and luring of an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl. He was arrested again May 2017 and charged with the sexual assault of three young girls for several years. Those girls are now adults.
He was indicted on both cases on counts including first-degree sexual assault. He was released from the county jail in April 2017 with an ankle monitor.
Sceusi, on Aug. 9, allowed the removal of the bracelet, stating that while the court "has not seen him, he has been compliant" with the conditions. However, Sceusi did request Boydston appear in-person for a pretrial hearing on Sept. 29 — which has instead become the date for Boydston’s detention hearing on the new charges.
The 2017 case is on hold due to unresolved motions filed by the defense.
Lori Comstock can also be reached on Twitter: @LoriComstockNJH, on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LoriComstockNJH or by phone: 973-383-1194.