Police charge Burrillville firefighter with additional count of child molestation following investigation

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BURRILLVILLE – A Burrillville man arrested in September under charges of second-degree child molestation and second-degree sexual assault was arrested again on Tuesday, Nov. 21 for an additional count of second-degree child molestation.

Richard Forslund, 31, was charged by Burrillville police following an investigation that included interviews with both witnesses and victims.

According to an arrest report obtained this week by NRI NOW, three victims spoke to Burrillvile police to report the crimes in September. But one of the victims told police that some of the incidents dated back several years, taking place in Glocester, so officers worked with the neighboring law enforcement agency to ensure proper jurisdiction.

Forslund, who at the time of his initial arrest worked for the Pascoag Fire Department, has been accused of inappropriately touching three females, ages 9, 12 and 14. He was arrested on Sunday, Sept. 24 while working at the Pascoag Main Street station, and was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. The Rhode Island Department of Health has since suspended his EMT license as a result of the charges.

The new charge filed in November involves the youngest victim, who detailed to police inappropriate conduct that had taken place over three years, starting when she was age 6. Some of the alleged incidents took place when Forslund lived in Chepachet, before moving to Burrillville.

The three victims reportedly came forward following an incident in September, when the two older girls told police that Forslund showed up, “black out drunk,” and began acting inappropriately, and trying to get one of the girls to lay in bed with him. That victim told the other what was happening, and the second girl filmed an interaction where Forslund is reportedly seen grabbing the girl’s arms, trying to pull her in to bed and asking to cuddle, in a video later shared with police. The victim ultimately eluded the advances, and both girls reported hearing him say, “same s$%t different women,” before falling asleep.

When the third victim heard discussion of the incident, she came forward with information, describing inappropriate conduct that had taken place over several years, starting when she was six years old. The girl, now 9, told police that incidents occurred, “several times a week,” where the suspect claimed to want to, “cuddle,” and would touch her in private areas. The victim told officers that prior to hearing others discuss the behavior, she did not know what was happening or that it was wrong.

During the investigation, another witness came forward to express concerns to police about Forslund’s alleged inappropriate behavior, and hearing him make sexualized comments about young girls.

Forslund was released on $20,000 personal recognizance and ordered not to have any contact with the three victims. He is due back in court on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2024.

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