Topeka — Atty. Gen. Phill Kline had nothing to do with a Sedgwick County case he has repeatedly used to defend an investigation that entangled him in a lengthy legal fight with two abortion clinics, the county's top prosecutor said Monday.
Kline has pointed to the case of Robert A. Estrada, who pleaded no contest in July to nine criminal charges stemming from the rape and sexual abuse of two young girls.
Kline cites it as an example of how his office uncovered wrongdoing through a broad investigation of sex crimes against children and potentially illegal late-term abortions.
That investigation also led Kline to seek the records of 90 patients held by two abortion clinics, which resisted.
The battle over those records has become a key issue as Kline, a Republican, runs for re-election against Democrat Paul Morrison in the Nov. 7 general election.
The Estrada case isn't connected to those abortion-clinic records directly, though Kline has cited it to demonstrate that he has achieved results from the broader investigation.
Sedgwick County Dist. Atty. Nola Foulston, a Democrat, said no abortion records were involved in Estrada's case, only records of live births involving the two girls.
"Kline had absolutely nothing to do with our case - nothing, zero," she told The Associated Press on Monday.
The attorney general's office sent Foulston a memo in October 2005, about "credible information" it had obtained about "numerous incidents" of sex crimes against children. One of Estrada's victims was mentioned - because she had given birth.
Later, told of Foulston's comments, Kline said he and Foulston shouldn't be viewed as being in conflict because she was discussing her reasons for prosecuting Estrada and, "It's not necessarily a conflict."