StandUp for Kids founder faces charges of child sex assault

Richard Koca arrested in Aurora, Colo.


A man who dedicated his life to helping children -- many of them in San Diego -- is now facing allegations of child sexual assault.

Richard Koca, 69, founded StandUp for Kids, a national nonprofit that helps homeless and at-risk teens.        

The nonprofit's facility in San Diego opens its doors every evening for the kids who need it the most.

"I've been through adoption," said 19-year-old Joshua Cadillo-Lopez. "I've been through the foster care system. I've lived on my own. My mom was an addict."

Cadillo-Lopez has been coming to the San Diego facility since he was 15. He says it saved his life.

"I see people volunteering all of the time," he said. "They're just really caring. They don't judge who you are or what you've been through but they just accept you for who you are and just try to help you out."

Volunteers have helped StandUp for Kids spread to nearly 20 states. Koca, the founder of the group, gave 10News cameras a tour of the San Diego facility a few years ago.

"I don't think people would really ever have a clue what these children go through every day," Koca said in an earlier interview.

Koca was arrested in Aurora, Colo. last week. He faces seven felony charges of sexual assault on a child. Police said the pattern of abuse went on for three years.

Local director Terilyn Burg could barely read the police report.

"What ever happened in Denver does not affect San Diego, nor does it affect my kids," she said.

They are hoping it does not affect their bottom line.

"I don't think that just because one person made a mistake, you should judge everybody else," said Cadillo-Lopez. "He may have founded it, but the people who are carrying it on do so with totally different morals from what I've seen."

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