Archive for Friday, January 13, 2012

Shelter Inc. employee faces child sex crime charges

January 13, 2012


A 46-year-old Lawrence man who worked at an agency that helps teenagers faces three sex crime charges, according to Douglas County District Court records.

Authorities said the man worked at The Shelter Inc., which has an office at 105 W. 11th St., and also operates emergency residential care for teenagers who are often placed through the court system. Staff members also assist law enforcement with juvenile cases.

Lawrence police have said they were made aware of the allegations only on Dec. 29 and were working with Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services workers on the investigation. Police arrested the man late Dec. 29, and he posted $25,000 bond Jan. 4.

He was given notice to appear in court Thursday afternoon, and prosecutors with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office have filed charges of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, criminal sodomy and indecent liberties with a child for alleged acts that began in October, according to court records. The charges list the victims between the ages of 14 and 16.

Douglas County prosecutors asked the attorney general’s office to handle the case, and an outside judge is presiding as well, authorities said.

“Given the suspect worked for an agency we work closely with, we felt it necessary to request the attorney general’s office assume prosecution of the matter to remove any appearance of conflict of interest,” Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said Thursday.

“We of course take the kids’ safety very seriously,” said Judy Culley, The Shelter’s executive director. “Any allegation of any kind is always of great concern to us. We are cooperating with authorities and waiting to learn more about it as this moves forward.”

Culley said the man was suspended from the organization while the criminal case and investigation were pending.

His next court date is Feb. 14.

The Journal-World generally does not identify sex crime suspects unless they are convicted.


SinoHawk 5 years, 8 months ago

Last line in the article. Name will likely only be released (in the LJWorld) in the event of a conviction. Obviously court records and other manners exist to find out who has been indicted.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 8 months ago

It isn't uncommon for children taken into custody to be sexually and physically abused. People who are shocked by this should pay more attention.

somebodynew 5 years, 8 months ago

While that is certainly true (and sadly sometimes the children are ignored), the other is equally true: It isn't uncommon for children to be taken into custody to Make Up allegations of sexual abuse because they know that will generate attention and get them out of where they are temporarily.

Neither one is an absolute, so careful investigation is always a good thing.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 8 months ago

Less than 1% of allegations are false.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 8 months ago

Hope your comment stays up, but I doubt it will.

costello 5 years, 8 months ago

"It isn't uncommon for children to be taken into custody to Make Up allegations of sexual abuse because they know that will generate attention and get them out of where they are temporarily."

It also isn't uncommon for children in care to never report abuse for a variety of reasons such as fear or shame. I have a son adopted from foster care. He was in foster care for about four years. He spent time in foster homes, group homes, residential treatment centers, and juvenile detention. During that time he was molested once by another boy and beaten once by a group of boys - that I'm aware of.

Neither time did he "tell on" the other teens involved, so I'm going to guess there were other incidents that I don't know about. The boy that molested him told him that if he told the foster parents, he would tell them that my son had been rollerblading without his helmet - which the folster parents didn't allow. The only reason it became known is that another teen in the home knew about it and told.

The other incident was in a juvenile detention center when three other boys cornered him in the laundry room and beat him. A sharp-eyed worker noticed the red marks on his scalp through his hair and asked him about it. Even then he strongly denied the beating and said the marks were from horseplay. The worker had to question others in order to get the story.

I suspect my son's experiences are more common than the reverse - where a child is making up the story. That probably happens too, but I'm guessing the amount of abuse that children in state custody endure is underreported. These children are very vulnerable to predators - both adults and other children in the system.

LadyJ 5 years, 8 months ago

I foresee many lawsuits coming from the parents of these children.

skinny 5 years, 8 months ago

If you want to read the whole story with the names of those charged read a real newspaper like the Topeka Captial or KC Star. Then the LJWorld wonders why they are going down hill!

Ragingbear 5 years, 8 months ago

It's crimes like this that are of an especially predatory nature that I believe an age old punishment should be brought back. It's called "Being drawn and quartered". Look it up.

Another alternative involves a pencil sharpener and an old hand turned meat grinder.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 8 months ago

my comments above are posting on the same response #2 was for ladyj and #3 for ragingbear.

Tammy Copp-Barta 5 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if these agencies have any safeguards in place. For instance, in Scouting, we are required to have two deep leadership. This protects the adult as well as the youth. I sure there are other models out there as well. What a sick ticket to do this to these kids ... or any kid for that matter!

number3of5 5 years, 8 months ago

As with any case in the USA, this man is innocent until proven guilty....And to lawrenceks66 these agencies have many safeguards in place. Unfortunately, there are people who sometimes slip through minute cracks in the safeguards. These people are not only taking care of children, some are running government agencies, banks and medical concerns.. Lets give this man the benefit of the doubt until he is able to prove his innocence or is proven guilty of these charges......

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