Teri Hatcher's abuser dies

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Teri Hatcher

Teri Hatcher's abuser dies

Teri Hatcher's abuser has died in jail.

Richard Hayes Stone - the 'Desperate Housewives' actress' former uncle who she helped put in prison for molesting two girls - was six years into a 14-year sentence when he passed away from colon cancer at the age of 70.

Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Chuck Gillingham, who prosecuted Stone, said: "It closes the book on a very, very sad tragedy. Unfortunately those who are still alive will always suffer from his actions."

In 2002, Teri came forward about the abuse she suffered as a child from Stone after reading about teenager Sarah Van Cleemput, who shot herself in the head leaving behind a note that said: "You're probably thinking a normal teenager doesn't do this - well, ask Dick!"

The note referred to Stone, a friend of Sarah's family.

According to Gillingham, Teri - who was seven years old when she was abused by the then-husband of her mother's sister - almost cancelled making her statement and only relented after contemplating her feelings if her own daughter Emerson Rose, now 10, was abused.

The District Attorney said in 2006: "When we went to interview her, she almost cancelled. But she had with her daughter that morning and was thinking if, God forbid, something happened to her daughter that someone would come forward and do the right thing."

Teri, 43, later revealed she worried she would be portrayed as a publicity-seeking has-been actress if her ordeal came out in the media.

She said: "At the end of the day, there was no way I was not going to put this girl first, before whatever damage might be done to me."

Stone pleaded guilty upon seeing the actress' statement, meaning she did not have to go to court.

He was serving his sentence at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe, California.

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