SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – A registered sex offender running for a Granite District School Board seat agreed to an exclusive sit down interview with ABC 4 News.
Richard Wagner Jones is running against incumbent Dan Lofgren for the district one seat and will have five months to make his case to the public. He said his main goal is to educate students so that someday they can obtain good jobs and pay down the national debt.
ABC 4 asked Jones to explain how he can reconcile running for this position as his name and picture remain on Utah’s sex offender registry.
”I’m committed a serious offense 23-years-ago. I’ve done all that I can to get back and I’ll continue to get back on track,” said Jones.
Jones was convicted, of a class two felony sex abuse of a child, in the early 1990’s, but says he’s a changed man willing and ready to serve school children.
”What ever happened was over two decades ago and I was convicted for a serious crime,” Jones said.
A woman has come forward to ABC 4 after watching one of our stories about Jones. She is warning parents to take a good look at him before voting.
"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,” said the woman who doesn’t want to share her name.
About 30 years ago when she was a 14-year-old girl this woman claims Jones took her in. She came from a troubled home, but when she was sent to live with Jones she says the real nightmare began.
"I was pretty much Dick Jones' slave, sex slave, pimped out to his business partners and associates,” she said.
ABC 4’s Noah Bond showed Jones the news clip. He said he recognized the woman as one of his foster daughters. Bond asked Jones if her story is true. “No that’s not true,” was his only direct response.
Then he shared his thoughts. “If we live in a Christian society when people commit a crime of confusion like that; and we’re not going to let them contribute and reenter society?” Jones asked rhetorically.
The parents Bond talked with say they want to forgive, but they have serious doubts about granting a registered sex offender access to public school records. They're also concerned because he would not be allowed in the schools without an escort.
Click on the links to look at the campaign website for Jones and Lofgren.