Richard Koca, charity founder busted for child sex assault: Not guilty plea, claimed confession
Update: Yesterday, Richard Koca, who co-founded StandUp for Kids, a homeless-youth charity, pleaded not guilty to 22 counts of sexual assault on a child. However, prosecutors say they have a recording of Koca confessing. We've got details about the allegations and Koca's co-creation, which has now stripped all mentions of him from its website.
Big photos below.
As we detail in our original coverage, on view below in its entirety, StandUp For Kids, founded in 1990, sends outreach counselors into the street in an effort to assist homeless youth. As of last September, when Koca was arrested, the organization had branches in 37 cities, but that number has risen to 45, according to its online "by the numbers" page. In a 2002 bio, Koca was quoted as saying, "This isn't about money. It's about caring!" He added, "What we've accomplished has no price tag. We know we've made the difference in the lives of thousands of kids. I would have paid that price for one!"
Prior to his StandUp For Kids work, Koca spent thirty years in the military, where he was stationed in or visited a wide array of locations in the U.S., plus Panama, Venezuela, Italy and England. While in the first country, he was also a Scout Master for a Boy Scouts of America program, and he volunteered in an orphanage while spending time in England. He was also part of Explorer scout programs in San Diego.
Koca during his years in the Navy.
As such, the Aurora Police Department announced that it was actively looking for additional victims after Koca, age seventy, was arrested on September 15 for allegedly assaulting a child said to be under his supervision. But there was no mention of other kids at yesterday's arraignment, suggesting that no other evidence of wrongdoing has surfaced since Koca was taken into custody.
Koca's not-guilty plea seemingly contradicts with an in-court reference by an Arapahoe County prosecutor to a "tape-recorded confession." But there's no question Koca continues to have a great many defenders. Our original posts attracted a slew of comments from individuals helped by StandUp For Kids over the years. Here's one example:
I met Rick Koca many many years ago and I still credit him for one of the main reasons that I am alive today. He saved me. Saved me from drugs. Saved me from the streets. Saved me from myself. He helped shaped me into the person that I am today. There is just no way that these horrendous accusations can be true. Rick only ever wanted to help kids and I seriously doubt he just woke up one day and decided that he was going to be a pedophile. There was never any "pattern of behavior." No warning signs. Nothing to suggest that he would ever hurt one of us. I was abused sexually by my uncle when I was little. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally abused by my mother. I know the signs of abuse as do many of the "street kids" that Rick helped. That he saved. Coming from abuse like we did ensures that we can spot an abuser a mile away and had Rick been that type of person one of us sure as heck would have known it. Rick stood up for me and so many of my friends so we are here to stand up for him. It makes me sick how people who don't even know him have already prejudge him. They have already condemned them in their living rooms. The media has had a hand in that. I am here to tell all of you that Rick is innocent. I am alive today because of this man. I have a loving husband and 4 wonderful children because this man saved me. I am a college student because this man saw to it that I got myself together. He is my friend. He is my confidant. He is just amazing person who obviously put himself out there and someone decided to take advantage of him in this horrific way. All of us former street kids love you Rick!!! We are here for you no matter what!Contrasting comments like this one is the following anecdote from a longer post:
I volunteered for Mr. Koca a bit between 2008 and 2010. I met his daughters and grand daughters as well. I have to say, he was sort of inappropriately flirty with me when training, but I was not a kid; I was in my thirties. Because of that, I really didn't trust him: he was unprofessional and ignored my boundaries. I've met so many men like that, I didn't think much of it. I just kept my distance and reserved my trust.Continue for more about Richard Koca, including photos and videos.