Former Dragons' Den star and Tory adviser Doug Richard charged with child sex offences
Former Dragons' Den star Doug Richard has been charged with child sex offences
Richard, who acted as an adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron, is accused of three counts of sexual activity with a child and one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
The offences took place in January and relate to one victim, a girl who was aged 13, at the time, it is alleged.
Richard, 57, denied the allegations in a short statement issued after the charges were confirmed.
The US-born businessman said: "I absolutely deny the charges against me and will contest this matter in court."
Caroline Hughes, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by City of London Police in relation to Douglas Richard, 57, who was arrested on 5 January this year.
"Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Douglas Richard to be charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
"The alleged offences occurred on 2 January 2015 and relate to one victim aged 13 at the time.
"The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors."
Richard, of Islington, north London, will appear at City of London Magistrates' Court on October 5.
The millionaire, who appeared on BBC's Dragons' Den in the first two series, reportedly travelled with the Prime Minister on an official government trip to Africa and advised on policy.
His association with Mr Cameron goes back to at least 2008, when the then opposition leader invited the technology entrepreneur to write a report about small business in Britain.
He founded a business loans initiative called School For Startups, alongside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.