This week, StandUp For Kids founder Richard Koca was arrested on suspicion of child-sexual assault. Given Koca's devotion to working with homeless youth, he had plenty of access to kids over the years, as police note. But one reader says Koca never took advantage of her, despite having many opportunities to do so if he'd wanted.
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I am standing up for Rick just as he stood up for me as a child. I met Rick with Stand-Up when I was 13 years old. I knew saw him on a weekly basis for while I was a homeless child for 6 years. I was an attractive young female (aged 13-19) who had been "alone" with Rick more times then I can remember. He NEVER once made any sort of inappropriate move, gesture, or comment toward me or anyone I have ever known. All of the street kids I grew up with had all been abused, either physically, emotionally, and/or sexually. Once there are enough victims grouped together like that you tend to look out for each other, and also become very close and know each others pain and stories. An abused child can see the abuse in another child in a matter of seconds. We would have seen or heard of something like this. If Rick was a "Bad Man" we would have smelled it on him. This is a horrible end for a man who did so many amazing things, not only for me, but for every homeless child I have ever met! I am an amazingly successful person today because of Rick and the countless other selfless volunteers of Stand Up. And as a side note to any journalists who may be reading this... There is another side to this story, our side. Print it please. Street kids that have been positively impacted by Rick are everywhere in this country.
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