Boys Club Volunteer Convicted of Molesting 4 Youths
A 54-year-old Las Vegas boys club volunteer was convicted Wednesday of molesting four young boys he had escorted on trips to such tourist attractions as Magic Mountain and Universal Studios.
Richard Ausch, who was convicted after a non-jury trial in Superior Court Judge Gordon Ringer’s courtroom, was arrested in October, 1983, at a Holiday Inn in Van Nuys, where he often stayed with the boys on field trips over a two-year period, authorities said.
While the outings were not official boys club trips, Deputy Dist. Atty. Sandra L. Buttitta said, Ausch had received parental permission to escort the children to Los Angeles at his own expense.
“They were mostly (parents) from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who probably could never really afford to bring their boys here themselves,” the prosecutor said. “They thought that he was a nice man who was befriending their children.”
Ausch, who was convicted of 29 counts of sexual molestation, staged an unusual defense--he admitted having performed sexual acts with the children, ages 9 to 15, but said that none of the acts took place in Los Angeles County.
“It was very bizarre,” Buttitta said. “He’s admitted (to molestations) in Las Vegas, San Diego, Barstow . . . but never in Los Angeles County.”
The trial, in which the victims testified, was marked by repeated outbursts by Ausch--and before closing arguments Wednesday the defendant insistently sought Ringer’s attention.
Reports Threat on Life
“Sir, I have an emergency situation,” he yelled. “My life was threatened (in the county jail). And once you announce the verdict, they’re going to kill me.”
“All right, shut up,” replied Ringer, whose patience had begun to fray during the course of the proceedings. The judge added, however, that to lessen the chances of jail problems, he would be willing to have Ausch kept in isolation for as long as he wanted.
Ausch was arrested in his motel room in the company of a 9-year-old boy after employees heard the child’s frantic yelling and called police. Ausch, who had driven alone with the boy to Van Nuys, had taken him on a Universal Studios tour earlier in the day.
Ausch is a New York native who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in elementary education. Before moving to California, he worked as an elementary school teacher and boys camp director in New York, Buttitta said.
She said Ausch, a bachelor, had moved to Nevada after being convicted of child molestation in Santa Monica in 1976.