Richard Koca, charity founder busted for child sex assault: Not guilty plea, claimed confession


Original post, 8:09 a.m. September 18, 2012: At this writing, the web home of StandUp For Kids, an organization devoted to helping homeless youth, is down -- and no wonder. Richard Koca, the 69-year-old co-founder of the organization, has been arrested in Aurora on charges related to child-sex-assault allegations. But we've managed to grab a screen capture from the site and a video showing Koca touting the group. See them below.

The scoop on Koca's arrest comes courtesy of 7News, which reports that he's currently behind bars on seven counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust involving a pattern of abuse. The period during which the crimes are said to have taken place stretches from August 2009 to August 2012.

richard koca screen capture.jpg
Richard Koca as seen in a video on view below.
So...who's Richard Koca? Here's a StandUp For Kids bio circa 2002, when he was listed as a founder and chief executive officer:

Mr. Koca is a retired naval officer. Rick joined the Navy at the age of 17, and during the next 30 years was promoted 13 times through 17 pay grades. A highly decorated naval officer, Rick was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, three Navy Achievement Medals, as well as numerous service awards and commendations.

In 1990, with the help of several friends, STANDUP FOR KIDS outreach counselors began walking the streets touching base with the street kids. Now, more than twelve years later, STANDUP FOR KIDS has grown to more than twenty-eight programs in thirteen states.

Now, after more than thirteen years of walking the streets, he can't think of a place that he would rather be. There have been many times when he just wanted to turn his back on it all. He thought it would help relieve the pain he was seeing in the kids on the streets. The pain of his first street kid who said he was HIV positive, the first 12-year-old living in a dumpster, his first youth heroin addict, a 13-year-old prostitute, the first baby living in a cave, and his first 17-year-old who died as a result of AIDS.

Rick said, "this isn't about money, it's about caring!" "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"!

Now, this nationally acclaimed program has been recognized on three separate occasions by the White House, the U.S. Justice Department, American Express, the Governor's Office in Arizona twice, the Secretary of State of Colorado, and awarded the prestigious JCPenney Golden Rule Award. Rick has been awarded the George Washington Honor Award for his work with homeless and street kids; the Channel 10 Leadership Award, and was recognized as a finalist for the Edward A. Smith Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership. Rick lives in San Diego and has 3 children and 7 grandchildren in Denver, Colorado.

As for the organization itself, its website once made prominent mention of Koca -- although 7News notes that it no longer does so. However, we've grabbed a look at the previous page.

Continue to see the StandUp For Kids screen capture, plus videos featuring Richard Koca.

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6 comments
jess4ever
jess4ever

I volunteered with SUFK for over 8 years. The work done on the street deserves much more respect than it’s ever given (especially in this and Westword's previous article).  Its despicable how negatively the author and this commenter paints the good work done for kids that most people don't give a sideways glance to (or would rather spit at!).  But like Rick said, we don't do it for money. We do it for the kids. Some of us were those kids once, and feel compelled to give back. Some of us feel blessed that we have all we do. Wow!! What a novel concept in today's world!  Alas, it is the media that causes the death of many an intelligent conversation and educates the pitiful masses-- to the detriment and despite our academic, democratic and judicial efforts to be a fair and just nation. It’s sad how we let less than ten media sources dominate our news sources and control our thinking.  We are just eating up what the 1% serves us like lab rats. Rick's accuser is just another misguided young person craving attention and I am devastated they found this to be the best route to get it. What is most disappointing is that our society is just too media struck to even consider this. Justice will prevail. Stay tuned Mr. Death Breath

jess4ever
jess4ever

Personally, I would say never trust anyone with a screen name of Death Breath. Having worked with Mr. Koca for several years as a young attractive and impressionable youth, I can say with most assured conviction that he did not do this, and I stand firmly behind his innocence. I surmise that this commenter is just one of the many self-centered people in the world who, because they don't feel compelled to help children themselves (much less anyone else in the world), spew lies to distract from their own egocentric existence. Your absurd musing counld be countered with the statement that those who go into the mental health profession do so because they themselves are in need of mental health assistance.

Sadness
Sadness

@jess4ever I find it crazy when people stand up for someone's innocence when a) they have no idea what really went down. b)You can appear to be a great person and be terrible. c) this is awful for the child if s/he was victimized and you are taking his side BLINDLY simply because you never saw anything out of character.

That said, i had the "joy" of being in this dudes presence for about a week. I was about 22 and he came off very creepy and said some inappropriate things to me. Obviously not a kid but I was a young girl and he's an old man. I honestly never suspected him of child abuse but I knew something was off about him to be hitting on a girl that is young enough to be his daughter.   It was for charity work and he was very unprofessional in that aspect. I see a few others have noted this experience as well on another pages. So I guess some were lucky to not be considered a potential victim and he obviously had a type. Obviously I was not a child but if he's willing to go that young I would not be surprised if he took it further when young girls don't give in to his advances. It's much easier to victimize a child, someone that won't speak up or know what is happening.

Considering he has a 250K bond AND CONFESSED. It's pretty safe to say he is guilty. An innocent man with no strong case against him with neither confess nor have such a high bond. That said I feel sorry for him also as he obviously had some dark hidden issues to work out and instead of controlling himself/seeking help, now both his life and a young child's life are ruined.  Perhaps even more, time will tell. I would love for him to be innocent but I doubt that is really the case. So yes, justice will be served, aka likely him dying in a cell.

DeathBreath
DeathBreath like.author.displayName 1 Like

After working as a mental health professional within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for over 22 years, I feel I have plenty of experience to say this.  "Never ever trust someone with a burning desire to work with youth"  Frequently, sex offenders hide in plain sight.  John Wayne Gacy is a great example.  Or, if you want more recent evidence, look to the statistics associated with the number of officers arrested for having inappropriate relationships with minors within the Explorer program.  Recently, an officer was arrested in Bell County, Killeen, Texas for messing with kids.  Don't trust people with your children.  If someone is too close to your child, there may be a reason.  Normal adults don't want to invite children over for a "sleepover", particularly when there are no other children present.  Use your common sense. 

Sadness
Sadness

@DeathBreath I do agree with this, it's not surprising that child molesters seek out jobs that will not only put them in a position of power and trust, but one near children.

DeathBreath
DeathBreath

@Sadness @DeathBreath   Yes, I know; however, it surprises me how people, smart people, are still charmed by "high verbal" psychopaths who happened to like kids.  It speaks about the power of charm most pedophiles possess.  They are damn good at this.  Sadly, Christians seem to be some of the easiest targets for this activity. 

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