Local

Fresno coach accused of child porn released from jail

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Federal agents arrested a Fresno High School coach and substitute teacher on child porn charges, but the 40-year-old man is now back out in the community.

The suspect is not accused of having contact with any students, but John Richards was around hundreds of teenagers in his role as a sub and a coach of several sports at Fresno High.

Court documents show federal agents raided Richards' Clovis home in June and seized two computers. Agents say he used the internet to look at and share child pornography over a three-year period.

But the former coach told Action News we haven't heard the whole story yet. Richards walked away from the Fresno County jail Tuesday afternoon and jumped into a woman's car. He was out of sight in a matter of seconds. But as he came down the stairs of the jail, he faced an Action News camera and addressed one question about the child pornography accusations against him.

"I really can't say anything right now," he said. "I just want to say that, you know, let the court system work and we'll see what happens."

Before the investigation, Richards was a football, softball, and wrestling coach at /'*Fresno High*/.

The Warriors football team was on the field Tuesday afternoon as correctional officers prepared to release their former assistant coach.

Fresno Unified School District administrators issued this statement about the case.

"When the district became aware of the allegations against Mr. Richards June 29, we took immediate action that resulted in his resignation as a walk-on coach," said /*FUSD*/ spokesperson Susan Bedi in a written statement. "He was also immediately dismissed from our district as a substitute teacher."

Agents didn't arrest Richards until August, and he spent less than a day in jail before his release. The former educator pleaded not guilty to child porn charges in federal court and a judge released him under some strict conditions.

He has to live with his sister. He's not allowed alone with children, including his sister's 8-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son. He's not allowed to use computers or the internet.And he's not allowed within 100 feet of parks, schools, or other places for children. But otherwise, at least for now, he has his freedom.

Richards walked into the courtroom in tears Tuesday, but also seemed indignant at times, including when the prosecutor emphasized that Richards is not allowed to coach.

He's due back in court in about two weeks.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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court, clovis, fresno downtown, fresno, fresno county, local, corin hoggard
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