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Archive for Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Church worker charged in sex case

Bond increased for Lawrence man held for child molestation

January 3, 2001

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A Tonganoxie church youth leader was charged Tuesday in Douglas County District Court with 11 counts alleging that he sexually abused five boys during the past three years.

Appearing before Judge Peggy Kittle by closed-circuit television from the Douglas County Jail, the 33-year-old Lawrence man said little and kept his head down through most of the hearing.

The suspect remains in jail after Kittle increased his bond from $20,000 to $35,000. The Journal-World generally does not identify suspects in sex crimes unless they have been convicted.

Citing what he termed the seriousness of the charges, Assistant Douglas County Dist. Atty. Dave Zabel had asked the judge to set bond at $150,000.

The charges against the suspect include three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child under the age of 14; five counts of indecent liberties with a child between the ages of 14 and 16; two counts of criminal sodomy and one count of aggravated sexual battery.

Police and the district attorney's office said no other charges are expected at this time in Douglas County, but a new investigation may be pending in Leavenworth County.

"There was some information shared with Leavenworth County and they may be starting a separate investigation," Lawrence Police Det. John Lewis said.

Leavenworth County authorities couldn't be reached for comment late Tuesday.

The suspect was arrested last week by Lawrence police following an investigation stemming from information initially given them by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

SRS had been contacted by the minister of the United Methodist Church in Tonganoxie after one of the victims told him about the alleged incidents. Police said those incidents took place at the suspect's Lawrence residence.

The suspect's request to have an attorney appointed to represent him has been denied. Kittle told the man he would have to hire his own attorney. Innocent pleas have been entered for the suspect to the charges.

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