AIDS Project Director Gets Ticket at Park
March 23, 2002
World Herald Square, Omaha, NE 68102
By Karyn Spencer, World-Herald Staff Writer
The executive director of the Nebraska AIDS Project has been ticketed on
suspicion of groping an undercover male police officer in a park.
Richard Santee said Friday his arrest shows that project workers need to
talk to Omaha police about "how we go about street outreach."
Santee wouldn’t say whether he was engaged in outreach work when he got
the ticket March 16.
The organization’s previous outreach efforts have included sending teams
to hand out condoms and to talk to people at places where risky sexual
behavior is likely, said Dr. Mark Goodman, a member of the Nebraska AIDS
Project’s board of directors.
"Until it’s sorted out, we will stand by Rich," Goodman said.
"He’s a good guy."
Omaha Police Sgt. Ron Cole was working undercover at Lake Cunningham in
northwest Omaha around 6:15 p.m. March 16, according to his report.
Officers regularly patrol city parks with reputations as places where gay
men meet and have sex.
The officer said he chatted for several minutes with Santee, who rubbed his
own groin during the conversation, the report said.
Santee asked the officer to get into Santee’s car, the report said.
Santee then rubbed the officer’s groin for five seconds, the report said.
The officer ticketed Santee on suspicion of lewd conduct, which is defined
as an act of a sexual nature offensive to the average person who might observe
Santee would not comment on the allegations, saying his side will be come
up at trial.
Santee, 52, has been executive director of the Nebraska AIDS Project for
two years and had other jobs with the nonprofit agency before then.
The organization offers HIV testing, provides support services for people
with AIDS, and organizes fund-raisers such as AIDS Walk Nebraska and Night of
a Thousand Stars.
[Home] [News] [Nebraska]