Wichita Federal prosecutors filed court papers Friday asking a judge to revoke house arrest and jail a Newton man accused of physically and sexually abusing residents of a home for the mentally ill.
Arlan Kaufman, 68, and Linda Kaufman, 62, face 35 criminal charges in federal court, including health care fraud and holding clients in involuntary servitude. They have pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Attorneys for the Kaufmans asked the court last month to end the house arrest and ankle monitoring for the Newton couple.
In response, the government argued that request should be denied and filed its own motion seeking to jail Arlan Kaufman pending trial.
The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment on the case beyond the court filings. A motions hearing is scheduled for Aug. 4.
Assistant U.S. Atty. Tanya Treadway argued in her motion that Arlan Kaufman prevented two federal probation officers from completing a routine visit to his home and that the officers left in fear for their physical safety.
Arlan Kaufman's attorney, Thomas Haney, could not be immediately reached for comment. But Steve Joseph, the attorney for Linda Kaufman, said the government's motion was full of "typical mindless dribble."
"If anybody saw Arlan Kaufman, any suggestion he would intimidate anybody has to be taken with a grain of salt," Joseph said. "He is a sedentary, elderly gentleman. (As for) little Mrs. Kaufman - oh, please."
"Arlan can be very stern, maybe he was too stern with them," Joseph said, referring to the probation officers.
The request to jail Arlan Kaufman was among a number of government motions filed Friday in the case in response to defense requests for witness access, dismissal of charges, discovery of evidence and suppression of evidence.
I haven't even read (Treadway's) responses to our motions - I haven't had sufficient tranquilizers," Joseph said.
Defense attorneys had sought the change in the conditions for house arrest, usually appropriate in cases where there is a proven history of violence against someone, Joseph said, adding that there is no proven history of violence in the Kaufmans' case.
The government's indictment alleges Medicare fraud, mail fraud, manufacture of false documents, obstruction of a federal audit, forced labor and involuntary servitude. It also accuses the Kaufmans of forcing group home residents to perform sexually explicit acts and videotaping sexual contacts during purported nude therapy sessions.