WICHITA, Kan. - A well-known local former teacher and debate coach was sentenced Monday to serve more than 13½ years in state prison after being convicted for sex crimes against minors. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the Reno County Kansas Sheriff's Office, Buhler Kansas Police Dept, the Wichita Police Department's Exploited and Missing Children's Unit, the Philadelphia (Pa.) Police Department's Special Victims Unit (PPDSVU), San Bernardino California Sheriff's Office, and the Purdue University Police Department.
Richard Young, 68, was convicted Oct. 17 in Reno County, Kansas, on one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a minor, two counts indecent liberties, and one count of indecent solicitation of a minor. He was sentenced Feb. 9 to serve 164 months in prison.
Young is a resident of Buhler, Kan., and most recently was employed as a teacher and debate coach at Buhler High School. He taught for the past 47 years in various school districts in Kansas. He has hosted as many as 12 foreign exchange students in his home since 1997. Some of those students are residents of Germany, Bolivia and the Netherlands.
The investigation surrounding Young first began after a 16-year-old South Korean student that he sponsored in 2007 was terminated from the exchange program at Young's request. Following his termination, the Korean student visited his aunt in Philadelphia. The exchange student's attorney later contacted the Philadelphia ICE office, which referred the investigation to the Wichita ICE office. Further investigation revealed more molestation accusations from Young's three former stepsons, now adults. All three testified against Young at his trial.
"We received incredible cooperation from all the involved law enforcement agencies," said Antonio Farias, resident agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Wichita. "Due to this cooperation, this child molester who betrayed the trust people placed in him, won't be able to victimize any other children."
Reno County Sheriff Randy Henderson praised the work done by law enforcement and expressed his appreciation for the courage displayed by both the current victim and the three past victims. "These three gentlemen gave their time and opened old wounds in support of this young foreign exchange student."
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,600 individuals.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. If there are any other victims of Richard Young, they are also encouraged to call.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.