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Archive for Sunday, September 29, 2002

Convict 1st to graduate from sex predator program

September 29, 2002

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— A former Olathe resident has become the first man to finish the state's sexual predator program.

A Johnson County judge said Friday that he would sign an order freeing Jerry P. Inman, 53, who has been living in another state without supervision for two years.

A law passed in 1994 allows Kansas to keep convicted sex criminals in custody indefinitely after they complete their prison sentences if they are determined to be sexual predators likely to commit more sex crimes. Sixty-nine convicted sex offenders are now in the state's sexual predator program.

Inman is the first man to graduate from the program. Others have been released early after legal battles. Four men whom Wyandotte County designated predators were released because their hearings were not held in a timely manner.

Inman has been on conditional release since August 2000. He has been required to see a counselor, who has made regular reports to the court.

The counselor recommended Inman's discharge, and prosecutors did not object.

Inman went to prison in 1994 after pleading no contest to charges involving three victims. Johnson County prosecutors filed the predator case in 1996, when Inman was about to be paroled.

He was committed to the predator unit after a jury found he had a mental condition that made him likely to commit more sex crimes.

In 1999, Inman became the first participant to graduate into transitional release from the program's maximum security hospital setting in Larned, Kan. During transitional release, he lived in a duplex and worked on the hospital grounds.

In 2000, he became the first to progress to conditional release.

Three others besides Inman have advanced to transitional release, said Brenda Hagerman, legal counsel for Larned State Security Hospital.

"It's a gradual release back into a community," Hagerman said. "It's very rare for someone to be discharged straight out of that type of intense programming."

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