Riverton Youth Leader Charged With Molesting Girl, Says He ‘Gave In To Temptation’

A church youth leader from Riverton has been arrested on suspicion of molesting a girl younger than 12 in Florida. He allegedly told police there that he’s addicted to pornography and “gave in to temptation.”

Clair McFarland

January 12, 20242 min read

Richard Shaw
Richard Shaw (Polk County, Florida, Sheriff's Office)

Riverton police have arrested a 69-year-old church youth-group leader at his home at the request of Florida authorities who have charged the man with lewd molestation of a child, a first-degree felony.

Richard Shaw, 69, visited Lakeland, Florida, in December, according to a Wednesday press release by Florida’s Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

When Shaw returned to Wyoming, a girl younger than 12 told her mother that Shaw had touched her inappropriately, under and over her clothing, while he was there, the statement says.

The mother called and spoke to Shaw, who allegedly admitted to the touching.

Shaw works in youth ministry at Under Command Ministries in Riverton, the statement says.

“We are working with Wyoming law enforcement to determine if this suspect victimized any other children there — we sincerely hope not. This man should never be allowed to have access to children again,” Grady Judd, Polk County sheriff, said in the statement.

Polk County detectives interviewed Shaw, who told them that he’s addicted to pornography and that when he touched the girl, he “gave in to temptation,” the statement alleges.

Riverton Police Department officers arrested Shaw on Jan. 4, according to RPD records. He will be extradited to Polk County at a later date.

Meanwhile, the statement says Fremont County authorities are investigating Shaw’s activities in his home county to see if he has victimized any children in the area.

Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter