2 Larned State Hospital workers charged with helping convicted sex offender escape

LARNED — Two employees at Larned State Hospital have been charged with helping convicted sexual offender John Freeman Colt escape from the hospital last summer.

Rachel Rena Perez, 50, of Larned, and Liliana Guadalupe Houser, 45, of Garden City, made their first court appearance Tuesday. Each faces more than a dozen counts, including having unlawful sexual relations with a patient, trafficking in contraband and obstructing the apprehension of a registered sex offender, according to a news release from Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett.

Colt changed his appearance and walked out of the state hospital in June. He was arrested in Utah on Sept. 27.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 26. Perez remains jailed on a $75,000 bond. Houser is being held without bond because she had dual citizenship in the U.S. and Mexico and is a flight risk, McNett said.

Colt initially was convicted in 2001 of aggravated sexual battery and aggravated burglary for an attempted rape in Topeka. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Shortly before his release, a Shawnee County jury found him to be a sexually violent predator, and he’s been a resident at the state hospital since 2006.

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