Convicted Sex Offender Runs For School Board Seat

Richard Jones sex offenderIf Richard Jones wins election this November for one of seven seats on the Granite School Board in Utah, he won't be able to stop by the schools in his district. That's because 23 years ago Jones was convicted of sexually abusing a child, and he remains on the sex offender registry. Meanwhile, a woman has come forward claiming that Jones kept her as a "sex slave" about 30 years ago, when she was 14.

"The Board of Education finds that conviction of a sexual offense against a child is incompatible with unfettered access to school property and schoolchildren, regardless of whether sentences have been served or probations have ended," the school board said in a statement.

The 67-year-old candidate served five years in the Utah State Prison, and spent another decade on probation, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. Jones' sentence is now served in full, and he's become an active community member. He co-founded the Holladay Republican Club and East Side Voter Forum, and says that he's been a presenter at forums on how to prevent sex abuse.

Jones' past came up two years ago, when he helped organize a meet-the-candidate event. Democratic Rep. Phil Riesen was scheduled to moderate the affair, but withdrew because he considered it partisan in nature, and was bothered by Jones' past conviction.

In response, Jones said that his crime was committed "two decades ago," and Riesen was "a bigot," reported The Salt Lake Tribune.

But for some, Jones' past remains as relevant as ever. "The story came on and they showed a picture and said his name Richard Wagner Jones and I had another anxiety attack as if all this happened yesterday," a woman told ABC News Salt Lake City, after watching the channel's recent interview with Jones.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, claims that about three decades ago, when she was a 14-year-old from a broken home, she was sent to live with Jones. "I was pretty much Dick Jones' slave -- sex slave -- pimped out to his business partners and associates," she said. She claims that case workers didn't believe her when she told them of the abuse. Wagner's arrest came years later for the violation of another child.

Granite school board members, during their four-year terms, make all the policies for the district's public school system and have "a responsibility to children and youth in emotional development, citizenship instruction and values training, as well as intellectual instruction."

Wagner wouldn't be required to visit the schools as a school board member, but the board president, Gayleen Gandy, said that doing so is valuable to the job. "I personally feel that it's very important for me to be out in the schools as much as possible," Gandy told KSL News. "If I'm going to make decisions from the 30,000-foot level, I need to know what's going on in the trenches."

The woman who claims to be Wagner's victim has much deeper concerns about his possible election. "If he has any, any access to public records, he's going to find more victims," she told ABC News Salt Lake City, "and this time I'm not going to shut up."

Wagner said that the past behavior for which he was imprisoned has "been taken care of and is behind us."

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Quinn Smith

I hope that school authorities get to this issue as soon as possible as this will really put chaos between the school and parents who are well we know, concerned about their kids' safety. I am a parent and I'm worried and I don't want anyone to experience threatening cases to my kids. As a way of helping everyone especially the parents, who still find it quite hard to manage issues like this, I found this great application which featured safety app which gets me connected to a Safety Network or escalate my call to the nearest 911 when needed, it has other cool features that are helpful for your kids with just a press of a Panic Button. Check it here:

June 19 2012 at 1:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's lies! It's all lies! All he did was, after walking out of a bar at closing time he drunkenly relieved himself on a bush. Only the bush was in a playground, but the playground was right next to the bar! Who puts a playground next to a bar?! There were no kids in the playground. who lets their kid play at 2am? Anyway, the cops picked him up, he was convicted, & labled a sex offender. I was there! For the reals!

I think......... or did I see that somewhere? Just give a guy a break, when he got out he could only land a dental hygenist job but he was daily plagued by sexual harrassment from his totally bitchin' hot boss.

June 07 2012 at 9:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sorry Jones, but not wanting to be around you is not being a bigot. It is being a "Normal" human male, something of which you know nothing about.

You are a predator and should not be allowed around any females in any situation.

June 07 2012 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

NO! NO! NO! NO! You can't ellect a sex offender for this position if you can't deal with a teacher who had a past as a porn star. THIS IS NOT ONLY DOUBLE STANDARD BS but UNSAFE TOO!

June 07 2012 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yep, he started the Holiday Republican Club. Need I say more? OK, you convinced me. The local leaders of the faith, will say "He put that girl to work." Normal people say it was sex slavery. I guess if you can have a bevy of wives at the same time, children marrying elders in the commune; having a sex offender on the school board is not out of the question. The only mission this guy wants to go on is the mission position.

June 07 2012 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While I am disgusted that this person seems to be living life to the fullest while his (probably more than one victim) has been traumatized for life, I can't believe this was on page 36 0f 41! Lets put a celeb on page 2 with a title of "shocking dress worn", and put this nationwide issue on the fifth to last page! Shame on AOL.

June 07 2012 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

that is a wolf in sheeps clothing. sexual abuse of children is a disease not only a don't become better just because you do 5 years my dad done 10 and is still the same.BEWARE!

June 07 2012 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just like his victim has to live with what he did to them for the rest of their lives, he will and fairly so have to live with being a sex offender all his life.

June 07 2012 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whatever happened to the laws that prohibited convicted felons, particularly violent ones, from voting or running for elected office for life? This convicted pedophile should not even be allowed to vote, let alone run for office.

June 07 2012 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama's "Safe School Czar" Kevin Jennings gives praise to and is a follower of NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Lovers Association) founder Harry Hay.
Jennings claims Hay is "one of the people that has always inspired me."
So what else is shocking?

June 07 2012 at 6:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to inajiffy123score's comment

How dare you tell the truth! You should know better than that!

June 07 2012 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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