Archive for Saturday, August 31, 2002

Suspect charged in rape attempt

Lawrence school aide also stands accused of drugging 3 women

August 31, 2002

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A Lawrence school aide was charged Friday with drugging three women and then trying to rape one of them.

A paraprofessional who has assisted with coaching in several sports, the 21-year-old man was arrested by Lawrence Police early Thursday after the women tested positive for a date-rape drug while at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

"I'm a teacher that's my life," the suspect said during his first court appearance Friday before Judge Pro Tem Peggy Kittel. "I know that this looks bad on paper."

The suspect is in the Douglas County Jail on the following charges: attempted rape; three counts of unlawful administration of a substance; possession with intent to distribute or dispense gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police were called Thursday to LMH, where two of the victims initially were being treated after a car wreck, according to court statements.

The women are Kansas University students ages 19, 20 and 21.

During interviews with police, the women said they thought they had been drugged sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Thursday at a Lawrence residence, police spokesman Sgt. Mike Pattrick said. A man who was there tried to rape the 20-year-old, Pattrick said.

Based on the information, officers went to the 800 block of Murrow Court and arrested the school aide as he was leaving a residence.

Police also obtained a search warrant for the residence. During the search they found liquid substances of GHB, Pattrick said. GHB is more commonly referred to as the "date-rape" drug.

The man's next court appearance will be Tuesday.

Randy Weseman, Lawrence school superintendent, and school board President Scott Morgan said late Friday afternoon that they were unaware of the charges or the arrest of a paraprofessional.

It is the Journal-World's policy, generally, to withhold the name of a person accused of a sex crime until a guilty plea or conviction is entered.

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