By Patti Weaver
(Perkins, Okla.) — A local man has been jailed on $70,000 total bail on drug and sex-related charges following an investigation by Perkins Police Chief Bob Ernst.
Richard Leon Mendenhall, 59, was initially ordered held on $20,000 bail on a charge of maintaining a house where drugs are kept and sold, after methamphetamine, marijuana and smoking pipes were allegedly found when a search warrant was served at his Perkins residence on Nov. 24, 2021, court records show.
After charges of solicitation of a minor child for lewd exhibition plus two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor were filed against Mendenhall last week, $50,000 additional bail was set for him, court records show.
Mendenhall told the Perkins police chief that “all of the charges and allegations are happening,” to keep him in jail, an affidavit said. Mendenhall has been ordered to appear in court on March 7 on his new three-count charge.
An investigation began after the state Department of Human Services received a report on Nov. 9, 2021, that Mendenhall “provides marijuana to and smokes marijuana with juveniles,” at his house where methamphetamine was also used, the police chief alleged in an affidavit.
The police chief observed, through a television monitor, interviews of three minors at the Saville Center in Stillwater, according to his affidavit.
One girl said Mendenhall “told her he would give her $35 if she took a photo of her chest and $40 if Mendenhall got to take it,” the affidavit alleged. She said when she refused, “Mendenhall kept asking her if she was sure she didn’t want to do it,” the affidavit alleged.
A week later “Mendenhall asked her again if she wanted to make that money,” the affidavit alleged. She said, “she told Mendenhall she didn’t want to do that, and Mendenhall did not ask her for any more photos after this event,” in which he showed her photos on his phone, the affidavit alleged.
She said, “Mendenhall goes days without sleeping and that he smokes a white sprinkle stuff in a clear glass pipe that he usually has on his person, or he stores it in his Polaris slingshot, which is a three-wheeled motorcycle.
Mendenhall has friends come over to smoke the white stuff and then they leave,” the affidavit alleged.
She said, “Mendenhall has offered her to smoke ‘the white stuff,’ but she didn’t want to do that,” the affidavit alleged. She said, “Mendenhall offered her ‘weed,"” which made her feel dizzy, the affidavit alleged.
Another girl said she felt uncomfortable when Mendenhall “asked her once how he was to know she was a girl,” the affidavit alleged. She said, “Mendenhall would act crazy after smoking the clear pipe,” the affidavit alleged.
A boy said, he felt “scared when Mendenhall offered him methamphetamine,” which he declined. He said, “Mendenhall smokes methamphetamine almost daily, in his home or in the shop, or whenever he can get it,” the affidavit alleged. The boy said Mendenhall gave him marijuana to smoke with him, the affidavit alleged. He said, “Mendenhall has shown him photos of naked females on his phone, stating he had lots of them. (He) said the girls all looked like they “were highly addicted to meth,"” the affidavit alleged.
In Mendenhall’s home, police found substances that tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as a coloring book depicting nude females, the affidavit alleged. “Officers also located eight cell phones and one tablet,” that have been submitted to the state crime bureau, the affidavit alleged. Police found an air soft pistol in Mendenhall’s bedroom from which the orange safety tip on the barrel was removed, “which makes the air pistol appear to be a traditional firearm,” the affidavit alleged.
Mendenhall’s personal care assistant told the police chief, “the kids told her people were doing ‘crazy’ at the house in front of the kids,” his affidavit alleged. She said, “she did not report any of this information to authorities because she didn’t actually see it,” but did tell Mendenhall’s case worker, the affidavit alleged.
Mendenhall denied making any inappropriate statements to the girls, offering one of them methamphetamine, or asking any of the children to light his meth pipe, the affidavit said. Mendenhall blamed the children, their mother, and his relative for making “all of this up,” the affidavit alleged.