PHOENIX – A local horse riding instructor and trainer accused of sexually abusing seven young girls between 2002 and 2009 has been found guilty on all counts. After five indictments and two mistrials, Ralph Lawrence Carr (D.O.B. 5/27/1946) now faces a possible maximum prison sentence in excess of 50 years. His next scheduled court appearance will be a status conference set for January 7, 2016.
“The victims in this case have waited a long time for justice,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “These verdicts underscore our unwavering commitment to hold this Defendant accountable for violating the innocence of these children and causing enormous pain for their families.”
On July 24, 2006, the father of an 11-year-old girl contacted police to report that his daughter had been inappropriately touched by Ralph Carr on three separate occasions during horseback riding lessons at Carr’s residence in Peoria. There were no witnesses to the alleged incidents. On October 10, 2008, the mother of a 13-year-old girl reported a similar series of incidents. Neither of the victims knew each other and never had riding lessons together. Carr was interviewed by police and denied the allegations. He refused to take a polygraph and voice stress test.
In August of 2009, Carr was indicted on eight counts of sexual abuse and one count of aggravated assault. With media attention focused on the case, two more girls came forward with similar allegations and the State re-indicted Carr to include additional charges. During subsequent proceedings to consider severing the cases, another victim came forward and a third indictment was filed on March 1, 2011 to cover all five victims. The court ordered to sever one of the victim’s cases from the other four. In the meantime a sixth victim had come forward and her allegations gave rise to a separate indictment filed on May 3, 2012.
Trial on the case involving four victims began on October 1, 2012 and ended with a mistrial after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict. During the trial, yet another victim was identified and was added to a fifth indictment incorporating all seven victims and alleging 15 counts of sexual abuse and one count of aggravated assault. Trial began on February 9, 2015 and concluded on March 26 with the jury unable to reach a unanimous verdict on fourteen of the counts and acquitting the Defendant on one count of sexual abuse and one count of aggravated assault. A retrial on the remaining 14 counts began on October 1, 2015 and concluded on December 7 with guilty verdicts on all counts.