The state still plans to find a home near Lawrence for an aging sexual predator.
In July, a judge issued a restraining order barring 70-year-old Leroy Hendricks from coming to live in a proposed group home on Golden Road in rural Leavenworth County. But now the agency that wants to house him is appealing the judge's decision - something that could leave the matter tied up in court for months to come.
"I don't know if they're going to make this the test case, but they're adamant about being able to use that residence," said Leavenworth County counselor David Van Parys.
Hendricks, 70, was the first person to be admitted to the state's sexual-predator treatment program at Larned State Hospital when it began in 1994. Now, as the program's population skyrockets and few residents are being released, the state wants to make Hendricks the first patient returned to the community as part of a new program to house older predators with special medical needs.
Leavenworth County District Court Judge David King sided with the County Commission in July, finding that the group home would violate zoning laws and require a special permit.
On Aug. 18, Community Provisional Living, the Lawrence-based agency with a contract to house Hendricks at a cost of $278,000 for the first 15 months, filed a notice that it planned to appeal King's decision.
"Not only in the state of Kansas, but in other states, this issue is going to surface, and we need to get some direction from the court," said Gregory Lee, an attorney who represents Community Provisional Living.
Hendricks, who has a history of child molesting that spans decades, has had a stroke and has limited use of his hands. If released to a group home, he would be supervised 24 hours per day.
But that didn't reassure Lawrence residents, who began a petition drive opposing the move in April after the state announced a plan to house Hendricks in Lawrence. Eventually, the state chose the site in Leavenworth County that's now in dispute.
Hendricks is staying temporarily at Osawatomie State Hospital.
- Sexual predator won't be moving in (04-29-06)
- Sexual predator still without residence (09-04-05)
- Judge upholds restraining order against Hendricks (07-20-05)
- 6News video: Judge upholds restraining order against sex predator home (07-19-05)
- Judge hears arguments on relocation of molester (07-13-05)
- 6News video: Court hears arguments about sexual predator group home (07-12-05)
- 6News video: Sexual predator ousted from group home (06-06-05)
- Questions persist about sex predator (06-05-05)
- Restraining order filed ordering Hendricks out (06-04-05)
- 6News video: Convicted child molester's location discovered (06-03-05)
- Notorious molester now in rural Lawrence (06-03-05)
- 6News video: Sex predator moves to rural Lawrence (06-02-05)
- Petition organizers see signs of support (05-12-05)
- State predicts high demand for program (04-26-05)
- 6News video: Local mothers circulate petition to keep sex predator away from Lawrence (04-25-05)
- Sex offender says move is in limbo (04-21-05)
- Agency: Molester doesn't pose danger (04-02-05)
- Notorious sex offender is moving to Lawrence (04-01-05)
- On the Street: Do you believe that child molesters can be rehabilitated? (04-01-05)
- 6News video: Sex offender moving to Lawrence (03-31-05)
- Sexual predator law under review (10-16-01)
- KBI.com: Registered offenders search
- Map of registered offenders in Douglas County