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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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2/20/2012 6:20:00 AM
Terminated AHA teacher arrested for child porn
Randy Young, 33, was recently fired from the school and was under investigation for what Yavapai County Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn called
Randy Young, 33, was recently fired from the school and was under investigation for what Yavapai County Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn called "an inappropriate relationship with a student."

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD -- Yavapai Sheriff's detectives were contacted by staff at the American Heritage Academy in Cottonwood Wednesday after school officials found a laptop computer with porn that belonged to a recently terminated teacher.

A school staff member discovered pornographic images of children while reviewing the computer's contents. The terminated teacher, 33-year-old Randy Young, was previously under investigation for an inappropriate relationship with a student and staff believed the computer might have documented that relationship.

Young had been arrested by Cottonwood Police late last month after providing false identity when he was contacted in the company of a juvenile student while off campus. After the arrest, he posted bond and was released. Young's personal laptop computer had been left in his former classroom, where it was found by another teacher.

The following day, detectives reviewed the computer's contents and found 11 images depicting children younger than 15 in various sexual situations.

A search warrant was obtained for Young's Cottonwood home. Young was arrested for 11 counts involving sexual exploitation of a minor and booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center.

He remains in custody on a $60,000 bond. He admitted to knowledge of the images on his computer, but did not believe they portrayed underage children.

On Friday, Jan. 28, Young had been charged with providing false identification to an officer. At 10 o'clock that night, a Cottonwood officer checked a Suzuki SUV parked at the Rocking Chair Road overlook, where police say it is commonplace for criminal activity to occur.

The passenger showed identification that she was 17 years old and said she was a senior in a Cottonwood school.

Randy Scott initially could not produce a driver's license but identified himself with a name the officer could not pull up on his computer.

The driver who was jumpy and nervous gave a name and said he was 17 but then claimed he was born in 1991 and was 20 years old.

The officer said that when a computer check returns, "no record found," he said it usually means the subject is lying.

At that point, Young pulled out his wallet with his identification, showing he was 33.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Article comment by: Liberals are not a dark force That is quite a stupid accusation

Blaming liberals is by far the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Its not logical and completely unrelated to this issue.

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Article comment by: Liberals are not a dark force That is quite a stupid accusation

This really is a horrible situation and it sickens me. But to address of AHA comment...Really Liberals are the dark forces, seriously how is that even remotely related or logical?! I'm not liberal but seriously that's just ignorant to say they are the demise of our country, everyone is entitled to their political views and by no means is this or our country's state their fault. Some liberal ideals are good. And being a pedophile is NOT A LIBERAL IDEAL. Oh this just angers me seriously, that is an uneducated thing to say.

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Article comment by: Sad Former Student

As a supporter of American Heritage Academy, as well as a former student, it's important that everyone realizes that AHA had no way of knowing that Mr. Young would do the things that he did. The teachers at AHA are always concerned with putting the students' well-being before their own. I am hurt to see that people are blaming AHA for something that they had no control over!!! Mr. Young was good at his "craft" and was able to hide his intentions well. Even I believed that he was a good-hearted teacher. This is not the administration's fault and if it were not for them this wouldn't have been found. Although it is questionable whether or not it was a smart move to search his computer, they found disturbing images and these images led to his arrest. Though I was not close to Mr. Young, I am friends with many girls who believed that, as the dean of students, Mr. Young was there to help and listen to the students when they needed. The girls who were involved should be in everyone's prayers as well as the staff of AHA. If your colleague was charged with 11 Counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, I'm sure that you and your boss would be stressing out over how your workplace would overcome it. This is not an easy thing to go through and I believe that, instead of judging the school or even the perpetrator, pray for them and give the school staff the support they deserve.

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Article comment by: defense of AHA

"You did miss something"

Good job defending AHA. I think it's important work AHA is doing rooting out liberals and providing firearm safty training to our youth. Maybe next AHA can recruit their students to stand with adults on Cottonwood street corners holding those anti-abortion signs. Teaching God's love to our kids and fighting the dark liberal forces that threaten to destroy the greatest ever nation in the whole wide world should be our main mission!

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Article comment by: hard to love when you've been abused

"I'm an advocate for our children on every level....but the Bible I read tells me to love and not judge."

Thousands of kids abused under auspices of Catholic churches may find more reason to judge than you.

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: the children are what matters b

Lets remember who is important here... the KIDS!! The staff at AHA did and always do everything they can to keep the children safe. As for AHA hiring sickos... really!?! The way pedophiles get through life doing what they do is being able to lie and cover up their disturbing intentions. Every child in every church, school and even at HOME are at risk of harm. It is up to the parents and the community to keep them safe. I thank AHA for always being completely honest and forthcoming when uncomfortable situations arise that other schools and institutions would do their best at covering up.

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: To John Doe!! !!

John you are off base to link all wrong doings to AHA. I guess they also sent the play book to Penn State, Syracuse University, the Catholic Church, Cottonwood USD as well as Prescott USD. Teaching certificates have NEVER GUARANTEED a good teacher or moral person. That is why you don't see any public ridicule from local school district personnel. It happens every where and is a nightmare for any school administrator. These are sick people who are predators. And until they get caught they also have a finger print clearance card. It does not matter if they are a private, charter or district school. And yes, perps and predators home school their children too. Can you say Colorado City? That school has a lot of healing to go through. Support them and help them through the process.

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: To maybe I missed something

You said then the only thing they have on him is that he gave a false name? What part of "he was in a car with a 17 year old" don't you understand? You don't give a false name unless you are doing something wrong.
Also this is a newspaper article and not the police report so I'm sure the exact facts are a little different than posted. And really the staff putting photos there? An attorney with half a brain would see that anything done on the computer would have a date and regardless if the child porn is not what he admitted to, why does a teacher have pictures like that on a computer in his classroom.

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: Mother of Teen Girls

I have 2 teenage girls. After these incidents have happened, I told them that they should NEVER receive or accept texts from their teachers, coaches, pastors, etc. When the former pastor in Cottonwood was arrested for sexual conduct with a minor, there were thousands of texts between the two of them. It's possible as a coach that many of the students had his cell number as well. As parents, it is a scary world, and this is just one of the ways we can protect them.

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: You did miss something

Please check your facts. The YCSO are the ones who got a search warrant to checked the laptop not the school staff. Teachers at AHA are certified, most with a masters degree. At least the administration at AHA contact the police immediately when something like this occurs. I had a neighbor who worked for a local public school and when he was caught in a similar situation was asked to resign quietly. He left for Tucson to teach there. This is how these predators are able to continue. All school employees must have a fingerprint card. They must submit their fingerprints to the state the state runs a background check on the individual and then determines whether to issue the card. If a person applies for a job at a school and produces a fingerprint card it is supposed to be safe to hire them. But if previous employers don't report them when they are caught instead of asking them to leave quietly then how is the new employer supposed to know. Now Young's fingerprint card has been revoked and he won't be teaching more of our children. I have had one child graduate from AHA and have two more coming up. At least I know where this school stands and I know they won't let something like this get swept under the rug. They put it right out there where everyone can see. AHA does care about our children that's why you know about it. Don't think it's because he was caught in public either. As you already know this is the second teacher. The first was caught by administration who called the police immediately.

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: Teachers need to be open to background checks and internal investigation

As far as waiting for a search warrant, if your child was alone in a room with a teacher who was looking at child porn, would you say "lets wait for a search warrant"? Charter schools are not the problem, there are many, many fine teachers at these schools. Lets stick to the issue. This has not only happened in charter schools, but in public schools, churches and homes. Computers used by teachers need to be open to investigation at any time. It is truly a sad state of affairs when the criminal is protected over the victim. And yet, it happens time and again.

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: Watch your children and listen to them

Not only do you need to educate your children about this, but you need to listen to them and watch their actions. Sometimes they will be afraid to tell you about something that did happen out of fear. Teach them to be aware who and what are in their surroundings, so that they might know if they are in danger. To the moms when the kid tells you it's the boyfriend, or dad, do something about it call cops and protect that child!
As a child of horrible abuse I will say that for me, as a survivor you don't ever get over it, and you don't ever forget it. These kids have to live with this the rest if their lives.
As a society we a failing. What gets me through is my relationship with God, my wonderful husband, and one day at a time.

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: Yeah You MISSED something

You are introducing "facts" that don't exist. Where does it say the school or staff conducted and "investigation"? You obviously have a bone to pick with Steve Anderson, or you are a buddy of the accused. Pedophiles come to small towns because of the likelyhood of being discovered is much less. In this case, the accused was already under investigation, let the investigation come to a rational conclusion before you start spinning the story. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't a pedophile. If he is, he should be incarcerated.

Posted: Monday, February 20, 2012
Article comment by: Suzi Sauder

The court of public opinion is toxic....I'm an advocate for our children on every level....but the Bible I read tells me to love and not judge.

Posted: Monday, February 20, 2012
Article comment by: Not Again

Not again...this is the 2nd teacher in a few years from the same school. What is going on over there??? Sounds like the people at the top should be the ones in trouble for hiring sickos. The school needs to look @ their IT department and set up security on all computers. They should have 100% access to all public computers. What is this world coming too? We have to worry about sending our children to shcool and worry about what goes on behind closed doors. I hope this teacher did not harm any children.

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