A Millbrae man facing the possibility of life in prison for repeatedly molesting his young stepdaughters committed suicide while out of custody on $1 million bail.
Richard Kenneth Watterworth was to appear in court Feb. 8 for a preliminary hearing on the charges but died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a Burlingame hotel Sunday, Jan. 6, according to his defense attorney Geoff Carr.
Authorities had confiscated weapons from Watterworth after his November arrest and Carr said they were preparing to turn in others but that he may have had access to more at other properties. He did not leave a note nor ever make any admission of guilt, Carr said.
"The case remains unresolved even to me and the family,” Carr said.
Watterworth was charged with 12 felonies, including four counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 by fear or force, three counts of child molestation, oral copulation, two counts of threatening a witness and two counts of committing continuous sexual molestation. The last charge carried a potential life sentence.
He pleaded not guilty in December.
Watterworth was arrested after a relative contacted Millbrae about suspicions of abuse. According to prosecutors, Watterworth abused his wife’s 12-year-old daughters after meeting the woman online in 2009 and bringing the family over from the Philippines.
He posted $1 million bail shortly after his arrest.
Michelle Durand can be reached by email: email@example.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.