Crime, Fire, Courts

Kansas regulation of massage industry might help prevent sex crimes, some leaders say
May 2, 2015
After two Lawrence residents with previous “promoting prostitution” convictions were charged Wednesday with multiple felonies in connection with alleged forced prostitution at a Lawrence massage parlor, some trade and government leaders say a state massage therapy licensure program might help prevent sex crimes in the industry.
KU task force suggests reforms to how school handles sexual assault
05:34 p.m., May 1, 2015 Updated 10:23 p.m.
Kansas University’s Sexual Assault Task Force on Friday suggested big changes to the way KU handles campus rape. Among them: Create an on-campus center for sexual assault prevention and education, require all freshmen — including fraternity members — to live in residence halls, and clarify in the student code that KU can discipline students for sexual violence that occurred off-campus if the victim was also a student. By Sara Shepherd
U.S. attorney urges Kansas police to apply for body camera grant
04:56 p.m., May 1, 2015 Updated 10:23 p.m.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom in a news release Friday urged Kansas law enforcement agencies to apply for a new federal funding program designed to help outfit officers with body cameras, but local law enforcement officials say there are many factors to consider before implementing the technology in Lawrence.
Lawrence man’s status as sexually violent predator affirmed
11:27 a.m., May 1, 2015 Updated 10:23 p.m.
Kodi Thomas was convicted in 1996 of attempted rape and aggravated burglary. Although he has completed his criminal sentence, he will now be confined indefinitely at Larned State Hospital for treatment as a sexually violent predator. The Kansas Supreme Court’s decision comes as the treatment program at Larned is coming under increasing criticism. By Peter Hancock
Two charged with human trafficking in alleged prostitution at Lawrence massage parlor
06:33 p.m., April 30, 2015 Updated 10:16 p.m.
A Lawrence man and woman arrested Tuesday evening on suspicion of crimes related to prostitution at a local massage parlor were charged Thursday in Douglas County District Court with multiple felonies, including aggravated human trafficking. By Caitlin Doornbos
Longtime KU professor accused of sexual harassment loses appeal
11:42 a.m., April 30, 2015 Updated 10:24 p.m.
The Kansas Court of Appeals has sided with Kansas University in the case of a longtime professor accused of groping a student during a study session at a restaurant. Zamir Bavel, a tenured professor of Information Processing Studies who has taught at KU since 1968, was disciplined by KU after the female student accused him of sexually harassing her in 2011. By Sara Shepherd
Two arrested on suspicion of prostitution-related charges after police search Lawrence massage parlor
04:05 p.m., April 29, 2015 Updated 09:58 p.m.
A Lawrence man and woman were arrested Tuesday evening on suspicion of crimes related to prostitution at a Lawrence massage parlor just off of Sixth Street, Lawrence Police Department spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley said Wednesday.
McLinn’s request for new trial denied, will undergo mental health evaluation before sentencing
12:01 p.m., April 29, 2015 Updated 09:59 p.m.
Sarah Gonzales McLinn, convicted in March of first-degree murder in the death of CiCi’s Pizza owner Harold “Hal” Sasko, will undergo a mental health evaluation at Larned State Hospital before sentencing, Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin ruled Wednesday. The results of that evaluation could determine whether McLinn receives mental health treatment or goes to prison, perhaps for 50 years with no chance for parole.
Judge’s rebuke highlights use of covert searches in Kansas
11:15 a.m., April 29, 2015 Updated 09:55 p.m.
A Kansas judge who publicly rebuked prosecutors for ignoring legal requirements for spying on suspects offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the surge of covert warrants, allowed under a law passed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that was intended to fight terrorism and not for routine crime.
Judge grants ‘own recognizance’ bond for Lawrence man charged with aggravated indecent solicitation of a child
05:16 p.m., April 28, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
Douglas County District Judge Kay Huff on Tuesday granted an “own recognizance” bond for a 29-year-old Lawrence man charged with two counts of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child.
Defendant in Cedarwood Apartments homicide ordered to wear GPS monitor if he posts bond
05:07 p.m., April 28, 2015 Updated 10:44 p.m.
Chief District Judge Robert Fairchild ordered at a hearing Tuesday that the man charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 7, 2014 homicide of 19-year-old Justina Altamirano Mosso must wear a GPS monitoring system if he posts bond after the prosecutor on the case said she had heard that the man could be a flight risk.
New trial sought for woman convicted of murder in CiCi’s Pizza owner’s death
01:41 p.m., April 28, 2015 Updated 10:50 p.m.
The attorney representing Sara Gonzales McLinn, 20, convicted of first-degree murder in the death of CiCi’s Pizza owner Harold “Hal” Sasko, is seeking a new trial. McLinn’s sentencing, originally scheduled for Wednesday, has been delayed so that a hearing on the motion for a new trial can be heard.
34-year-old woman arrested after man is stabbed inside apartment on KU campus
01:43 a.m., April 28, 2015 Updated 10:44 p.m.
A 34-year-old Kansas University student was booked into the Douglas County on suspicion of domestic battery and aggravated battery after allegedly stabbing her boyfriend inside a Stouffer Place on-campus apartment early Tuesday.
Kansans watch closely as Supreme Court hears gay marriage cases
04:53 p.m., April 27, 2015 Updated 09:58 p.m.
The question of whether states must allow same-sex marriages could be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court before the case in Kansas ever comes to trial. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in four cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Currently in Kansas, same-sex marriages are only authorized in Douglas and Sedgwick counties while a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban is pending in federal district court. By Peter Hancock
Trial for man charged in alleged downtown sexual assault moved to November
03:06 p.m., April 24, 2015 Updated 10:15 p.m.
Previously scheduled to begin May 4, the trial for a 53-year-old Lawrence man charged with aggravated sexual battery and aggravated criminal sodomy was pushed out on Friday until Nov. 2.