Lawrence police said Thursday they are investigating whether there may be more victims in a case involving a couple arrested for sex crimes against two young girls.
The Lawrence couple made their first appearance in Douglas County District Court on Thursday afternoon. Bond for the man was set at $500,000, while the woman’s was set at $10,000. The husband and wife were ordered to have no contact with each other or the victims, who authorities described as family friends.
Police said the parents of the girls, who are now 8 and 10, reported to officers that the girls said the man had raped both of them repeatedly during the past two years. The rapes, police said, reportedly occurred at a home in the north-central part of Lawrence.
The 32-year-old man was arrested on four counts of rape, three counts of aggravated criminal sodomy and two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. The man’s wife, 33, was arrested on charges of endangering a child and felony lewd and lascivious behavior.
The criminal complaint was made available Thursday. It named several witnesses, including the Rev. Scott Hanks, head pastor of Heritage Baptist Church.
A church official confirmed that the male suspect is a member of the congregation. It is unclear whether the male suspect had any involvement with the church’s youth programs.
In a statement Thursday, Hanks said, “The Heritage Baptist Church is ashamed and appalled at the actions of (the suspect). The church stands against rape, sodomy, and indecent liberties with a child. Such wicked and vile acts should be punished and not tolerated in or outside any church.”
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call the Lawrence Police Department at 832-7509 or CrimeStoppers at 843-TIPS (8477).
The Journal-World does not name suspects in sex crimes unless there is a conviction.