Orange County Digest

Huntington Beach : School Trustee Pleads Not Guilty on Sex Count

March 17, 1987|Heidi Evans \f7

Huntington Beach City School District trustee Richard M. Boucher pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of sexually molesting a 17-year-old boy three years ago.

Boucher, 61, surrendered to Huntington Beach police Feb. 28 after a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to Police Department spokeswoman JoAnne Bonkowski. He was arraigned Monday in West Orange County Municipal Court.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael C. Koski said the school trustee and 1983 winner of the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year award was charged with one felony count of oral copulation with a minor, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in state prison.

Colleagues of Boucher were surprised to hear of his arrest.

"He's just a real nice guy," said Bonkowski, noting that Boucher had been employed by the city since 1969 and retired two weeks ago as an employee relations coordinator in the Personnel Department. "I was very surprised."

Bonkowski said Boucher was also active in scouting and his local Catholic church.

"I can certainly say his reputation as I know it has been outstanding in the community," added Catherine Wheeler, administrative assistant to Huntington Beach School District Supt. Diana Peters.

Boucher, who was released on his own recognizance pending a preliminary hearing on the charge, was elected to a four-year term on the school board of trustees in November, 1985.

He did not return a reporter's phone calls Monday.

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