Archive for Thursday, April 1, 2004

Auto dealership magnate faces child sex charges

April 1, 2004

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— A philanthropist who founded several car dealerships in Kansas has been charged with having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old.

Rusty Eck, 75, of Wichita, faces one count of indecent liberties with a child and three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. The charges were formally presented during Eck's first court appearance Wednesday. The case was scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 13.

A co-defendant, John Profita, 47, of Wichita, was charged Tuesday with identical counts.

According to the criminal complaint, the crimes occurred during January and February of this year and involved the same 15-year-old victim. One count alleges the men solicited the teen to "engage in lewd fondling or touching." The other three counts allege the men had sexual intercourse with the teen.

Eck was released from jail on Tuesday. His bond had been set at $250,000.

Eck, the founder and former owner of Wichita's Rusty Eck Ford dealership, donated money to the Wichita State University baseball program, which named its stadium after him in 1984. A decade later, he and his wife gave $1.75 million to Kansas Newman College -- now Newman University -- and a new building on campus was named for them.

"Obviously, it's embarrassing to the family and to the 200 employees," said his son Les Eck, who bought out his father eight years ago.

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