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School construction worker offers teen money to disrobe, police say

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OGDEN — A Harrisville man working on a construction project at an Ogden middle school was arrested Tuesday for allegedly soliciting a 14-year-old girl.

Richard Duane McFarland, 55, was arrested for investigation of sexual solicitation of a child and carrying a weapon while under the influence of alcohol.

Ogden police were called Tuesday afternoon to Highland Junior High School, 325 Gramercy Ave., on a report that a man who was working construction at the school offered a 14-year-old girl money to take her clothes off, according to a police affidavit.

Officers found McFarland and started talking to him.

“Richard appeared intoxicated as he was slurring his speech and unable to stand without swaying,” the affidavit states. “Richard stated that he did approach the 14-year-old victim and offered her $40 to get naked in a room.”

McFarland also told police he carries a gun when he’s on the job and left it in his work truck, according to the affidavit. Police searched McFarland’s truck and reported finding his gun plus two bottles of vodka.

“One was empty and one was full,” the affidavit states.

The school was not open to the public at the time of the alleged incident, according to Ogden School District spokesman Jer Bates. The girl was working at the school.

Bates said the district planned to set strict guidelines with the contractor and subcontractor of the renovation project about what is expected from their workers, including who can be on school property.

McFarland was charged with aggravated assault last year in a domestic violence-related incident, according to court records. In that case, McFarland was accused of assaulting his wife while intoxicated and threatening her with a weapon. The case was later dismissed after the alleged victim invoked “spousal privilege” at the preliminary hearing, forcing prosecutors to request a dismissal, court records state.