crime

The University of Kansas said Thursday that it’s “deeply troubled” by an internal investigation into a massage therapist who was recently charged with sexually assaulting a child, and had worked with some women’s sports teams since 2015. 

Lancerenok / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas legislators aren’t ready to declare that marijuana possession never should be a felony, rejecting proposals Monday to lower penalties for third-time offenders and to release others from prison.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas is unmatched in its tracking of ex-convicts, resulting in more than 21,000 people convicted of sex, drug or violent crimes being registered on a public database.

One of them is Marc Schultz, who was convicted of manslaughter for hitting and killing a cyclist while driving drunk in 2010.

“I will forever live with the burden of taking a man’s life for a decision that I made,” Schultz said Monday. “But I didn’t intend for this to happen.”

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas is dropping its fight against the compensation claim from a man who spent 23 years in prison for a double homicide before a judge vacated convictions that were secured even though no physical evidence or motive tied him to the crimes, the state’s attorney general said Tuesday.

A 73-year-old Kansas prison dental instructor accused of sexually abusing inmates goes on trial Monday.

Tomas Co, 73, taught inmates at the Topeka Correctional Facility, the state’s only women’s prison. He faces six felony counts in Shawnee County of unlawful sexual relations for allegedly kissing students, touching them inappropriately and commenting on their appearances. He was removed from his job in 2018.

Nomin Ujiyediin of the Kansas News Service interviewed the Topeka Capital-Journal’s Sherman Smith, who broke the story in 2019 and will be following the trial. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Updated at 6 a.m. Dec. 15 with suspect in Wyandotte County jail Two months after a fatal shooting left four dead at a Kansas City, Kansas, bar, the second suspect has been arrested. 

Hugo Villanueva-Morales, 29, was taken into custody Wednesday by Michoacan State Police in Mexico, about 1,700 miles from Tequila KC. He and Javier Alatorre, 23, allegedly opened fire in the bar around 1:30 a.m. on October 6, killing Martin Rodriguez-Gonzalez, Alfredo Calderon, Ebar Meza-Aguirre and Francisco Anaya-Garcia.

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.

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