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Archive for Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lawrence man, 38, ordered to stand trial on child sex crime charges

January 17, 2012

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A Douglas County judge Tuesday ordered a 38-year-old Lawrence man to stand trial on child sex crime charges for an alleged October incident with a 6-year-old girl.

Mark Unruh, a Lawrence police officer, testified during a preliminary hearing Tuesday that the man told him in an Oct. 28 interview he spent the night at the girl’s family’s home in central Lawrence after he drank alcohol there.

Prosecutors accuse him of molesting the girl, and they have charged him with one count of child rape and one count of aggravated criminal sodomy.

Unruh testified the man told police the girl was frightened in the middle of the night, so he lay in bed with her. He also said the girl had pulled his arm onto her and also climbed on top of her while he was in the bed.

Unruh had also said police believed there were inconsistencies in what the man told police during the five-hour interview. A Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services investigator also helped with the case, prosecutors said.

“When he was not making an admission of an actual touching, you continued to press him for answers, but as soon as he gave you the answer you were looking for, that was good enough. Is that a fair statement?” defense attorney Michael Clarke asked.

“Yes,” Unruh said.

There has been discrepancy between the victim’s mother and defendant about which night he stayed at the house, so prosecutors now allege the events occurred between Oct. 25 and Oct. 27. District Judge Kay Huff scheduled a trial for April 4. The man remains in jail on $100,000 bond.

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

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