San Diego ‘A.M. Rapist’ Stephen D. Richardson Pleads Guilty in California Rape Cases

Stephen D. Richardson, an Arlington Heights resident known as the “A.M. rapist” in San Diego, California, has pleaded guilty to raping five women in California and is expected to be sentenced to 75 years to life in April, according to Elizabeth McClutchey, deputy district attorney for San Diego County.

Arlington Heights police will not pursue a case against Richardson for a 2003 rape that is tied to him through DNA, but will reconsider if Richardson is paroled or released early for any reason. Arlington Heights police do not suspect any other unsolved rapes in the Arlington Heights area are connected to Richardson.

Stephen Darien Richardson, 33, of Arlington Heights, Illinois was arrested in August 2009 in Arlington Heights at his residence on Bloomington Avenue near Lake Cook Road, and has been charged in a series of break-ins, home invasions and rapes that occurred in 2000 and 2001 in Mission Beach near San Diego, California. Stephen Richardson moved to Arlington Heights in May 2009 after living in the Chicago area for several year.

Suspect Stephen Darien Richardson was identified in July 2009 through physical evidence collected in a Sept. 2, 2000, sex assault investigation in Ocean Beach, California. DNA sampling taken after Richardson’s arrest allegedly tied him to four other home-invasion sexual assaults that took place in San Diego between June 2000 and February 2001.

In August 2005, Arlington Heights police matched a DNA profile from the San Diego area with DNA from an investigation in an unsolved rape in Arlington Heights, Illinois that occurred in 2003. Also in 2005, San Diego area police sent fingerprints from the second rape in the San Diego series, which occurred in 2000, to a crime lab for analysis. In July 2009 the finger print was matched to Richardson. San Diego area police tracked Richardson’s current address to Arlington Heights, which was close to the site of the rape that occurred in Arlington Heights in 2003. Then came the arrest in August, 2009 in Arlington Heights.

Richardson pleaded not guilty to over 20 felony charges, including forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, residential burglary and home invasion. He is being held on $1 million bail in California.

Richardson was tried an acquitted in military court after a rape arrest in 1995 that allegedly occurred while he was in the Navy.