To say that this case was complicated would be an understatement. The crime occurred in Boca, the suspect lived in Blue Ridge, Georgia and he committed similar offenses in other Georgia locations. The case was emotionally taxing as it involved sexual assaults on a young child.
It started back in June of 2009 with a phone call to one of our detectives from the family of a little girl. They believed the six year old was sexually battered by Richard Allen Mingst. Graphic images that depicted the crime were found on Mingst’s camera.
Within hours Boca Raton detectives were on the road, headed to Georgia. Over a two day period, they conducted numerous interviews in multiple jurisdictions. This concerted effort involved coordination with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Gwinnett Sexual Assault & Children’s Advocacy Center and the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.
Our detectives in Georgia submitted the evidence necessary for an arrest warrant to detectives in Boca Raton. In turn, the information was sent to the State Attorney’s Office to process it for the warrant which was issued by a judge in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach County. Mingst was arrested on June 26, 2009, two days after the initial phone call.
The ultimate goal is always a conviction. Interviews continued and more evidence was collected. The prosecutors and investigators from all of the jurisdictions continued to build a case as the trial approached.
On October 6, 2010 a jury trial was held and Richard Allen Mingst was convicted for sexually assaulting a six year old female victim in a Boca Raton condominium. In a news release, State Attorney Michael McAuliffe recognized Assistant State Attorney Reid Scott, Boca Raton Det. Scott Hanley and Special Agent Dustin Hamby of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for their work on the case. I guess it was a busy news day. I don’t recall seeing any media reports about the conviction.
Richard Allen Mingst is scheduled to be sentenced on November 16, 2011. I certainly hope that all of the hard work over many miles will result in Mingst spending the rest of his days in prison. Let’s hope that justice brings some peace.