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Creator of 'God's Army' faces protective order from ex-girlfriend

(Winston Armani)

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — The man known as "The Father of Mormon Cinema" was in court Tuesday after his live-in girlfriend filed a request for a protective order against him.

Richard Dutcher is best known for his 2000 film, "God's Army," about LDS missionaries. Dutcher also produced the LDS-themed local film, "Brigham City."

Dutcher's ex-girlfriend, Audrey Richardson, filed a request for a protective order on Oct. 22, but the information is sealed to the public. While the specific allegations are unknown, Dutcher alluded to several of the charges in a 3rd District Court Tuesday morning.

"These are very painful and worrisome allegations," Dutcher said. "I do feel the need to state publicly that I have never in my life hit a woman, never choked a woman, never kicked a woman — certainly never sexually abused a woman."

Due to the temporary protective order, Dutcher wasn't allowed to stay in the Salt Lake City apartment he has shared with Richardson since August. In court, a judge allowed him to return home and postponed the rest of the hearing until next week.

"We feel that so far, Mr. Dutcher has been vindicated and we think next week, when we come back, he'll be fully vindicated of these false allegations in what is just a completely fabricated story," said Dutcher's attorney, Morgan Philpot.

Richardson's attorney would only say that the protective order remains in place until Nov. 12 when the couple is back in court. Richardson said only a few words as she left the courthouse.

"It's unfortunate. Thank you," she said.

No criminal charges have been filed against Dutcher. Salt Lake City police said they are not currently investigating any criminal allegations against him.

Dutcher and Richardson will return to court on Nov. 12 to determine if the restraining order will be granted by the judge. Court records show the Richardon's ex-husband filed two protective orders against her in 2009 and 2011.


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