QC man charged with trying to meet 13 year old boy for sex

A Quad City man with ties to a local Boy Scout troop is under arrest, charged with trying to meet an underage boy online.

Richard Harris, 58, of Davenport is being held in the Rock Island County jail on a federal charge of solicitation of a child.

Local and federal agents armed with a search warrant raided his home Sunday, after arresting him in Rock Island earlier in the day.

“They took two computers, and some flash drives. The second computer, I didn’t even know about,” said his longtime live-in girlfriend, who didn’t want to be identified.

“All I was told was that he had been arrested for internet conversations and going to meet what he thought was a 13-year-old child, a boy, to have sex with him,” she said.

“If I would have known I would have hurt him. I would have hurt him bad or put him six feet under and been very happy to go to jail. You don’t do that to children,” she said.

Harris is a retired Arsenal Island worker and does sound checks for some local bands.

His girlfriend says he also has been doing volunteer work with a Boy Scout troop on Davenport’s west end for the past several months, un-related to the criminal case.

“He had his own tent. There were always other adults around,” the girlfriend said.

Calls to the Quad City Boy Scouts of America headquarters were not returned, despite several messages left for spokesperson Tom McDermott.

Harris made a brief court appearance in federal court in Rock Island Thursday morning, where his court-appointed attorney waived his preliminary hearing.

His girlfriend says she visited Harris in the county jail on Wednesday.

“I talked to him. All he did was put a knife deeper into my heart. He says, okay, I made a mistake, I will never do it again. He admits it. I’m embarrassed. I’m upset. I’m angry. I’m infuriated. I want to take a baseball bat and crack him upside his head.  I support the police fully. They need to get these SOB’s off the street,” she said.

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