crime

The Wichita Police Department is hosting a city-wide event on Saturday to hear feedback about law enforcement from community members.

The “What’s Going On and What More Can We Do” event invites people to discuss trends, topics and concerns in the criminal justice system with city, county and state law enforcement officials.

Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says the goal of the event is for his department and other agencies to gather insights from the community to help improve law enforcement effectiveness.

Kansans reported more sexual assaults, domestic violence and stalking to the police in 2018, according to a report from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Compared to the previous year, it’s a 6% increase in domestic violence incidents, a 9% increase in rapes and a 27% increase in stalking incidents.

But the numbers don’t necessarily reflect an increase in those crimes being committed, KBI spokeswoman Melissa Underwood said.

From cries of heartbreak to a call for the prosecution of men who pay for sex with girls, Kansas lawmakers said the story of Hope Zeferjohn, a teen victim of sex-trafficking who was prosecuted for sex crimes, focuses a harsh light on a state system that is supposed to protect children.

Tex Texin / flickr Creative Commons

Crime-fighting efforts in Wichita drained the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s budget this year and pushed the county jail beyond capacity.

Sheriff Jeff Easter says the county jail population is at its highest level in 10 years. The jail houses an average of about 1,510 inmates each day; capacity is 1,158 inmates.

With more inmates, the county has higher food, medical and staffing costs. Easter requested additional funding from county commissioners on Wednesday.

They approved $2.6 million to help the Sheriff’s Office budget make it through the end of the year.

A family-oriented community where “everyone knows everyone.” That’s how people describe the area around 10th Street and Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas, where four men were gunned down and five more injured at a modest, neighborhood bar early Sunday morning.

“It’ll never be the same. It’ll never be the same in there,” said an employee of Tequila KC, who only identified herself as Jody. She said most of the people in the bar Saturday night were regulars.

File photo

The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to consider how far states can go toward eliminating the insanity defense in criminal trials as it reviews the case of a Kansas man sentenced to die for killing four relatives.

The high court planned to hear arguments Monday in James Kraig Kahler's case. He went to the home of his estranged wife's grandmother about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Topeka the weekend after Thanksgiving 2009 and fatally shot the two women and his two teenage daughters.

Updated at 7:00 a.m. Oct. 7 — Celeste Trevino was dancing with a "friend of a friend" early Sunday morning at Tequila KC. It was about a half-hour before closing time when two men came into the close-knit neighborhood bar in Kansas City, Kansas. One of the men walked toward the pair.

“We were talking and dancing,” she said through tears at a Sunday night vigil, “and the next thing I knew, he wasn’t there anymore.”

Her dance partner, whom she called Ever, was killed, along with three other Latino men ranging in age from their mid 20 to late 50s. Five others were wounded. Police said they don’t believe the shooting was racially motivated — but said it wasn’t random, either.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

The Catholic Diocese of Dodge City on Wednesday released a list of 12 clerics or seminarians with substantiated allegations of abuse against minors.

The diocese said five of the priests were assigned to the Dodge City diocese, while five others worked at some point in the diocese but allegations against them were made in other dioceses. Two others were seminarians.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

The Catholic Diocese of Wichita says an independent audit has substantiated sexual abuse allegations involving minors against nine priests.

The diocese released the report today following a review of more than 1,300 files by the Wichita law firm Fleeson Gooing. Many dioceses in the state and around the country have issued similar reports. Of the nine priests involved, six died after being removed from the ministry. The other three were removed in the 1990s. Seven of the nine were ordained in the 1950s or earlier.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday that it has opened dozens of investigations into alleged sex abuse by Catholic clergy after 119 people came forward in recent months saying they were victims.

The KBI called for tips from the public in February and continues to seek information. Agents have launched 74 cases so far in 33 counties.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, praised the news in a statement.

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