Constitutional Sheriffs leader Richard Mack emailed a video related to an investigation into his son’s alleged child abuse to Pinal County, Arizona, Sheriff Mark Lamb in 2021 to ask if law enforcement could investigate the child’s mother. The information came from public records Hatewatch obtained. This is the second known child abuse investigation into Rich Solon Mack, Richard Mack’s son. Rich Mack faces charges for alleged child abuse in Kentucky.
Richard Mack, leader and founder of the extremist Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), shared via email a video with Pinal County, Arizona, Sheriff Mark Lamb that involved a “sex scene” to “get [his] son in trouble.” Mack shared the video to ask Lamb’s opinion about investigating the mother.
“This is the video my son's ex‐girlfriend put together to try to have him charged with child sex abuse,” Mack wrote to Lamb on Sept. 26, 2021. “We want to know if there are grounds to go after her criminally for doing this with the girls.”
The email came as part of a public records request. The request was for documents containing email addresses linked to Richard Mack and the CSPOA in a certain date range to document communications between the extremist group and law enforcement.
The email’s subject line reads, “Fw: 15-1 2.MP4.” MP4s are a common digital video format. Hatewatch did not view the video as authorities did not include it in the release. Lauren Reimer, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office public information officer, told Hatewatch of the video: “The file is now unopenable. The file was available until October 25, 2021. That expiration date was set by the sender, not by any [sheriff’s office] account.”
Mack claimed in the email that “DCS,” the abbreviation for Arizona’s Department of Child Safety, “told us that they would testify for my son because they were certain [the mother] fabricated the allegations against Rich.”
Arizona DCS spokesman Darren DaRonco said his agency “cannot comment due to ARS 8-807,” the Arizona statute that governs release of DCS information.
It is unclear why DCS was unable to comment. The statute says DCS may provide information to persons “conducting bona fide research, the results of which might provide DCS information that is beneficial in improving the department” and “to confirm, clarify, correct or supplement information concerning an allegation or actual instance of child abuse” made by a public or outside source.
Reimer, the public information officer for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, told Hatewatch Mack’s email could not have resulted in an investigation. “We cannot accept reports of crimes through email. Any and all reports need to go through our emergency or non-emergency phone lines so they can be reviewed by the appropriate parties.”
Stephen Saltzburg, a former Justice Department official and George Washington University Law School professor, told Hatewatch there was nothing legally concerning about Mack sending Lamb the video “on its face.”
But Saltzburg cautioned that U.S. law on dissemination of child abuse materials is broad.
According to the Justice Department, “Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception and possession of” child abuse materials and “using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce.”
A person “convicted of transporting” via interstate commerce, which can mean an email that travels across internet service provider’s servers between states, “faces fines and a statutory minimum of 5 years to 20 years maximum in prison.”
Reimer declined to comment on Lamb’s reaction to the email, which she said no one at the sheriff’s office had reviewed.
Mack said he would not comment on his “son's case. It is in the middle of some intense litigation.” Mack referenced a family court case in Arizona, but did not respond to follow-up questions about the case. Rich Mack has had at last four cases in Arizona Family Court, according to that court’s docket.
The investigation Mack referenced in the email is not the only one Rich Mack has faced.
A Warren County, Kentucky, grand jury indicted Mack’s son on 12 counts of child sexual abuse on April 13, 2022, according the indictment Hatewatch obtained from the court. Mack faces four counts each of incest, first-degree sodomy with a victim younger than 12 and first-degree sexual abuse of victim less than 12. The indictment refers to a male victim.
Mack sent the email to Lamb on Sept. 26, 2021, roughly seven months before law enforcement arrested his son on the Kentucky charges.
Authorities set a $150,000 cash bond. The Daily Beast reported that Mack paid the bond and left Warren County in April 2022.
Hatewatch also obtained a motion to dismiss that Rich Mack’s lawyer filed, a response from the prosecutor, Mack’s second response and a notice that the court denied the motion to dismiss.
Rich Mack’s attorney filed documents that allege the child’s mother was “disgruntled” after “contentious custody and timesharing litigation.” The attorney also claimed the mother has made “six … false allegations of various types of abuse against” Rich Mack. The documents say Rich Mack first met with detectives in June 2019. Rich Mack “voluntarily answered questions and provided information to assist investigators” and nothing came of that investigation, his lawyer claimed in the documents.
Rich Mack learned in February 2022 that “the Bowling Green Police Department,” the department that serves Warren County, Kentucky, “was asked to reopen the investigation,” according to court papers.
Hatewatch requested documents detailing investigations into Rich Mack from Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), which handles child welfare. CHFS denied Hatewatch’s request, citing the confidentiality of the records.
The court has not yet set a date for the trial, the Warren County, Kentucky, Circuit Court Clerk’s Office told Hatewatch.
Photo illustration of Mark Lamb (left) and Richard Mack by SPLC. Source photos from Getty and AP Images